Ontario reopening Stage 2: Groups of 10 allowed, places of worship to reopen amid coronavirus pandemic

Premier Ford outlines Ontario’s Stage 2 of reopening amid coronavirus pandemic

The Ontario government announced a regional approach to Stage 2 of Phase 2 of reopening the province amid the coronavirus pandemic on Monday.

As of Friday at 12:01 a.m., Ontarians will be allowed to gather in groups of 10 — up from the previous five — as well as places of worship will be allowed to reopen, however with physical distancing measures in place and allowing no more than 30 per cent capacity.

Certain public health units will also see the reopening of services such as hairdressers and barbers, restaurant patios and more outdoor spaces.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement at his daily press briefing at Queen’s Park alongside ministers Christine Elliott, Rod Phillips, Vic Fedeli and Monte McNaughton.

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“As a result of efforts of all Ontarians to stop the spread of COVID-19, many regions have met the criteria to move into the next stage of our reopening plan,” said Minister Elliott.

“Our regional approach recognizes that different regions in the province are experiencing COVID-19 differently and can safely and gradually ease restrictions and reopen local businesses.”

Public Health Units and Regions allowed to enter Phase 2 include Ottawa Public Health, Peterborough Public Health and Simcoe-Muskoka Public Health. A full list can be found here.

The City of Toronto and most of the surrounding GTA and GTHA are not yet deemed safe enough to reopen further for Friday. There are reports they may be allowed to begin the process once the provincial-wide emergency orders are lifted June 19.

“For the regions that must wait a little longer, I ask you: please remain patient,” Ford said.

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The decision on which locations were allowed to enter Phase 2 were made in consultation with Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams and local health officials.

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“We are able to make this announcement today because of the extraordinary effort of our frontline workers and every other person in the province who helped to stop the spread of this deadly virus,” said Premier Ford, while also encouraging all to continue to exercise caution and follow public health advice.

Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:

  • Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
  • Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
  • Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only
  • Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
  • Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
  • Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
  • Camping at private campgrounds;
  • Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
  • Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
  • Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing
  • Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.

The Ford government said it will release more information in regard to summer camps, post-secondary education, training centres and public transit in the near future.

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“As we proceed into Phase 2 of the reopening process, we will continue to support both businesses and workers as we move forward on the path to economic recovery together,” Fedeli said.

As of Monday morning, Ontario reported 30,860 coronavirus cases and 2,450 total deaths.

Ontario’s document laying out Stage 2 details also revealed more about what will be allowed in an eventual Stage 3, including restaurants and bars for dine-in services, performing arts shows and cinemas with limited seating capacity, casinos, gyms, and amusement parks.

Even in Stage 3, the government will recommend remote work continue wherever possible.

With files from The Canadian Press

Full list of public health regions allowed to enter Phase 2 Friday

• Algoma Public Health
• Brant County Health Unit
• Chatham-Kent Public Health
• Eastern Ontario Health Unit
• Grey Bruce Health Unit
• Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
• Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
• Huron Perth Public Health
• Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
• Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
• Middlesex-London Health Unit
• North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
• Northwestern Health Unit
• Ottawa Public Health
• Peterborough Public Health
• Porcupine Health Unit
• Public Health Sudbury & Districts
• Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
• Renfrew County and District Health Unit
• Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
• Southwestern Public Health
• Thunder Bay District Health Unit
• Timiskaming Health Unit
• Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

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