Ontario officially extends all emergency orders until May 29
Just as we enter Stage One of Ontario's grand economic reopening plan, the provincial government has announced the extension of all current pandemic-related emergency orders for at least two more weeks.
This extension does not cancel out any of the previously-announced measures being lifted today: Some orders have simply been amended to allow for such things as the use of select outdoor recreational amenities, the reopening of several different business types, and the permittance of drive-in religious gatherings.
Per the province, important orders which are being extended today without amendments include the "closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery only, restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women's shelters."
From the Province:— Joey Coleman (@JoeyColeman) May 19, 2020
"Outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, fitness equipment, public swimming pools, splash pads and similar outdoor water facilities will remain closed until later stages of the province's reopening plan."https://t.co/sbJqJyt7iw
Not to be confused with the state of emergency first declared by Premier Doug Ford on March 17 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (most-recently extended until June 2), today's extension pertains specifically to individual orders put into place under the act.
As The Star's Robert Benzie explains, the state of emergency itself can be put into place for an extended period, but all orders under it still need to be extended every two weeks.
A news release from the province issued Tuesday morning states that Ontario has extended all of the following orders on the advice of its Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, to help stop the spread of COVID-19:
More details are now available on our plan to restart our economy. This includes retail stores under certain restrictions.— Ontario Government (@ONgov) May 19, 2020
Learn more about Stage 1 for Ontario here: https://t.co/LGgq2DUlPL pic.twitter.com/IT9OekhWDO
"Although we are entering the first stage of our framework to reopen the economy, it's critical that we continue to do so in a safe and responsible manner," said Premier Ford in this morning's release.
"The people of Ontario have been doing a fantastic job to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of this terrible virus. With warmer weather beginning, individuals and families will now be able to enjoy many outdoor amenities, but everyone must continue to maintain physical distancing from those outside of their household."
The province continues to ask that all residents to keep a safe distance from people they aren't related to and follow all other recommendations made by public health officials.
"To ensure that individuals and families have safe access to outdoor spaces, it is critical they take everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus," reads the release, "such as maintaining physical distancing by staying two metres apart from anyone outside of their household, washing hands regularly, and staying home if feeling unwell."
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