Ontario will allow most of the GTA to enter Stage 3 this Friday
Sadly (or fortunately, depending on who you ask), Toronto won't be one of them.
Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, Haldiman-Norfolk, Lambton and York regions will all reportedly be permitted to enter Stage 3 of the provincial government's reopening process on Friday, just like they were allowed as a group to enter Stage 2 on June 19.
Only Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex will remain in Stage 2 once this happens, though the former two regions are expected to move forward sometime next week.
Windsor-Essex will likely be the last region to hit Stage 3, as it was last to enter Stage 2 and the province needs roughly four solid weeks of data to determine whether or not a region is ready to advance.
Last week, the provincial government announced that 24 public health regions would be permitted to enter Stage 3 on Friday, July 17, after four months of mandatory closure orders for dine-in restaurants, bars, fitness centres, theatres, casinos, team sports and live event venues.
All of the above non-essential services (and anything else not explicitly listed by the province in its framework document) can resume operations under Stage 3, but only if they can do so safely.
It is up to each individual business owner to make that determination and emergency orders remain in place to fine those who are caught break physical distancing or other public health regulations.
Businesses that do open under Stage 3 will do so with stringent gathering limits in place of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
Ford is expected to formally announce the next crop of regions permitted to enter Stage 3 during his regularly-scheduled pandemic press conference at 1 p.m. this afternoon.
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