Doug Ford says he's not ready to allow Canada's Wonderland to reopen yet
Even though major Ontario attractions like Canada's Wonderland have been excitedly preparing for their reopening, Premier Doug Ford and his team say that they're still not ready to consider letting theme parks resume operations just yet despite the fact that most of the province — including York Region, where Wonderland is located — is now in Stage 3.
Having now missed out on more than half of its peak summer season, the park was counting on being able to accept guests again with the dawn of this next stage, and has been training staff and rolling out health and safety measures in anticipation of an unknown opening day.
Unfortunately, though, theme and water parks are still not permitted to open their gates under the province's Stage 3, and Ford's team confirmed today that it's just not ready to allow them to do so anytime soon, though places like the Toronto Zoo and Marineland have been permitted to reopen.
The Ford government says it's "not confident" to reopen theme parks, such as Canada's Wonderland, until the rest of Ontario is in Stage 3.— Colin D'Mello CTVNews (@ColinDMello) August 5, 2020
The gov't says public health officials say it wouldn't be a safe environment with so many people congregating. #onpoli
"We know that Canada's Wonderland, Calypso Theme Park and Santa's Village are really excited about the great protocols they've put in place," Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Having said that, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has advised our government and we have accepted his science that theme parks and water parks still pose a significant threat as a result of COVID-19 and therefore will not be able to open at this time."
MacLeod added that these locations are also risky due to their large capacities and the high circulation of people from different parts of the province and country. But she said the province will be regularly reviewing whether it is safe for people to begin returning to such businesses, and has been in close contact with Wonderland.
"We recognize their seasonal nature, and that is why when all of Ontario does move into Stage 3 we will continually re-assess this," she said.
Couldn’t go to Canada’s wonderland this year cause of covid so I just been spinning round my chair really fast to get that rush and pretend I’m on a rollar coaster— Scarlet⁷ 'ㅅ' ⟭⟬ ♡ (@saltybaekhyunie) August 4, 2020
Currently, Windsor-Essex is the only public health region in the province and one of the only ones in the entire country still held from further loosening lockdown measures due to its proximity to the U.S. border and its high number of seasonal agricultural workers, among whom there have been outbreaks.
It was also the final region of Ontario to enter Stage 2 last month, but can potentially proceed into Stage 3 as early as next Friday, Aug. 14.
In the meantime, Wonderland fans can take a virtual rollercoaster ride and make some funnel cakes at home, or wait patiently to see if and when Halloween Haunt or the park's new winter festival will be returning this year.
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