Premier Doug Ford says the plan to reopen Ontario’s economy will come “early next week.”
Ford made the remarks during his daily briefing at Queen’s Park Friday, as he also announced measures to help small business owners and landlords hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ll be releasing our framework for reopening Ontario’s economy. It will provide a gradual and measured approach to opening up,” Ford said.
“Let me be clear: the health and safety of Ontario will always come first.”
On Tuesday, Ford said he was getting lobbied to reopen the economy after health officials said they believe the province has reached its peak with regards to community spread cases of the novel coronavirus.
Ford has also repeatedly said that reopening sections of the Ontario’s economy would be gradual and depend on declining case numbers.
He has cautioned that a full return to normal without a vaccine would put “lives at risk.”
The premier was asked during Friday’s press conference whether or not some sections of the province that are not being hard hit by COVID-19, like rural communities in northern areas of the province, could open up earlier than urban areas.
Ford cautioned against that, saying all areas of the province are connected.
Ontario reported 640 new coronavirus cases Friday morning as testing has significantly increased over recent weeks.