stage 3 reopening ontario

Here's the official list of businesses that can and can't reopen under Stage 3 in Ontario

The list of businesses allowed to reopen in Ontario after a now four-month-long COVID shutdown continues to grow this week with the arrival of Stage 3 and all that it entails.

Premier Doug Ford announced Monday afternoon that 24 of the province's 34 public health regions would be allowed to move into the next phase of his government's economic reopening plan beginning this Friday, July 17, at 12:01 a.m.

Regions that will remain in Stage 2 for the time being are Toronto, York Region, Peel Region, Durham Region, Niagara, Windsor-Essex, Haldimand-Norfolk, Halton, Hamilton and Lambton — the same regions that were held in Stage 1 for a few days longer than the rest of the province back in June.

Dine-in restaurants, bars, fitness centres, theatres, casinos, team sports, live events have all been given the green light to resume operations under Stage 3, along with everything else that isn't explicitly mentioned by the province in its freshly-released framework document.

Outdoor gathering limits have also been raised to a maximum of 100 people, while indoor gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted. Physical distancing will remain a requirement for all people in Ontario who are not from the same household or social circle.

While the provincial government maintains that no business should open unless it is able to do so in a way that won't enable the spread of the virus, Minister of Finance Rod Phillips said on Monday that almost 99 per cent of local economies would be able to reopen during Stage 3.

Here's what can and can't reopen under Stage 3, per the Government of Ontario:

Businesses and public spaces that can reopen
  • Nearly all businesses and public spaces can gradually reopen as regions enter Stage 3, with public health and workplace safety restrictions in place, while some high-risk venues and activities will remain closed until they can safely resume operations.
Places and activities not yet safe to open
  • Amusement parks and water parks
  • Buffet-style food services
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment who follow specific requirements
  • Overnight stays at camps for children
  • Private karaoke rooms
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments
Settings in which gathering limits apply
  • All organized or spontaneous indoor and outdoor events and social gatherings (e.g., parties, fundraisers, fairs, wedding receptions, funeral receptions)
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Concerts and live shows, including performing arts
  • Convention centres and other meeting or event spaces
  • Facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g., gyms, fitness studios)
  • Festivals
  • Recreational attractions, courses and instruction (e.g., fitness classes, music lessons, tutoring)
  • Movie theatres
  • Real estate open houses
  • Sporting and racing events
  • Tour and guide services (including boat tours)

"Indoor gathering limits apply to events that are fully or partially indoors. Indoor events and gatherings cannot be combined with an outdoor event or gathering to increase the applicable gathering size," notes the province.

"People at their place of work, including performers and crews, do not count towards gathering limits."

The newly-reopened businesses join the lists of those permitted to resume operations under Stage 1, which began on May 19, and Stage 2, which Toronto entered on June 24.

You can review the province's updated reopening framework document, Stage 3 restrictions included, right here.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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