This is when the details of Stage 2 reopening in Ontario will be announced
As he had alluded to earlier this week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford confirmed in his press briefing on Friday that more details about Stage 2 of the province's reopening — including, ostensibly, when it might start — will be revealed in the coming days.
"We're making steady progress, and we'll be ready very soon to take our next steps in restarting our economy," Ford told reporters and residents.
Ontarians can expect specifics about Stage 2, including a phased plan for gradually opening the doors of childcare facilities, early next week, the premier said.
He added that businesses will need advance notice to prepare before the province actually commences the next stage and that things won't be happening "immediately," seeming to suggest that it may be a more drawn out process than Stage 1, which started all in one go on May 19.
NEW: Ontario Premier Doug Ford says details about stage 2 re-opening will come early next week. But he warns it doesn't mean immediate re-openings. Ford says they will give notice to prepare "to help try to get life back to normal" and mentions child care specifically. #onpoli— Manny Paiva (@paivatheway) June 5, 2020
He also implied that the news will be exciting.
"As much as Stage 2 will be focused on getting people back to work, it is also about finding ways to try to get life back to normal this summer, even if it's a little different than before," Ford stated, going on to say that he's "looking forward to sharing more details" about the next phase.
Ford and his team have reiterated that they will be heeding the advice of health officials like Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, as they move forward, and that making the province's recovery safe and sustainable is the top priority.
"We're moving cautiously in the advice of health and science... because God forbid this comes back and bites us in the backside, you'd be asking me [why we] moved too quickly," Ford said when questioned on whether he thought the province was moving far too slowly compared to others in Canada.
"We're going to have a really good announcement for the plans of going through Stage 2 and the opening and once we start ramping up, we'll make sure that Ontario is humming once again," he continued. "We're moving at the right pace."
Premier Ford responds to @ColinDMello's Q, saying, "we're going to have a really good announcement next week" for Stage 2. He says that he understands that some people are frustrated about how long it has taken to reopen Ontario.#onpoli #COVID19Ontario— UPDATES: Ontario Social Bubbles & Gathering Limits (@CDNPoliticsCarl) June 5, 2020
The province's official Framework for Reopening the Economy is quite vague about what may happen during Stage 2, mentioning only that it will entail people returning to more workplaces and outdoor spaces, as well as larger gatherings.
(Though residents had expected an announcement about an expanded limit for the number of people allowed at a social gathering two weeks ago, Ontario has been stuck at a five person maximum for months now.)
For the province to proceed into Stage 2, Stage 1 must have proven "successful" over a two-to-four week period, with no drastic spikes in COVID-19 cases or deaths — a criterion that we seem to be meeting at this point, though residents are extremely divided in their views on whether moving into Stage 2 is a good idea at this point.
You do realize majority of Ontario has kept their municipalities in line for weeks or months. Cant base a reopening solely on Toronto and Peel— Daymon4u (@thebigguy86) June 5, 2020
Many are also wondering about what impact the protests against systemic racism and police brutality, that have taken place across the country in recent days, will have on our novel coronavirus numbers. Many people are equally curious about whether Stage 2 will vary for different parts of the province, seeing as Ford said last week that a regional approach to reopening is still under consideration.
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