Toronto to remain in Stage 2 of reopening while much of the province moves on to Stage 3
The Ontario government announced today that many regions in the province will be allowed to move on to Stage 3 of reopening the economy as of Friday, July 17 at 12:01 a.m., but Toronto is one of the regions that will be required to remain in Stage 2 for now.
In this next stage, nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen (with safety measures in place) in 24 of the province's 34 public health regions, but Toronto and several other regions will have to wait a little while longer before reopening gyms, casinos, bars, performing arts venues and more.
These are the regions that must remain in Stage 2 for the foreseeable future:
#BREAKING - All of Ontario to stage 3 on Friday with the exception of Toronto, York, Hamilton, Niagara, Durham, Halton and Windsor. All businesses will be able to open except for the list below. Casinos can open but no table games. Gyms & bars can’t have have more than 50 people. pic.twitter.com/MMDH8SS7cv— Richard Southern (@richard680news) July 13, 2020
It's no surprise than these specific regions are being held back from Stage 3, as they're the same areas that were held in Stage 1 for a few days longer than the rest of the province back in June.
"As Ontario continues down the path to economic recovery, decisions on which regions will enter Stage 3 and when will be made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts and based on trends of key public health indicators," reads a news release from the provincial government.
As we work towards Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening, I know that Toronto residents will keep up the good work that has led us this far and continue to follow important public health advice like wearing a mask or face covering inside public spaces. pic.twitter.com/89u60xmbxi— John Tory (@JohnTory) July 13, 2020
All regions throughout the province other than those listed above will enter Stage 3 on Friday, and gathering limits (with social distancing requirements in effect) in Stage 3 regions will also increase on that day.
Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people and outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people, but regions remaining in Stage 2 will not yet get to increase their gathering limits.
"Regions remaining in Stage 2 will maintain the existing gathering limit of 10," notes the release. "Social circles in all stages at this point will also be kept to a maximum of 10 people province-wide, regardless of stage."
Health officials will continue to monitor the public health situations in the remaining 10 regions in order to determine when it's safe for them to move to the next stage, and some Stage 3 restrictions (social distancing, capacity limits, etc.) will also be further eased over time when it is safe to do so.
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