Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced today the province’s plans for Stage 3 of its economic reopening. Much of the province will begin Stage 3 on July 17th, though the Greater Toronto Area and Windsor region will remain in Stage 2 for now.
Stage 3 of the province's plan allows indoor gathering of 50 and outdoor gathering of 100 people, though physical distancing is still required for people who do not live in the same household. It also allows indoor dining in restaurants, live performing arts shows, and the reopening of movie theatres and playgrounds. Employees of the venue and performers do not count towards the gathering limits.
All of the newly-allowed activities still come with significant health and safety measures in place, like enhanced cleaning protocols, Plexiglas barriers, and physical distancing.
As well, rooms can be filled to 30% capacity for religious services, weddings, or funerals.
As part of Stage 3, sport facilities and gyms can reopen with physical distancing maintained, "except if playing a team sport or as needed for personal training."
Water parks and amusement parks are not part of the Stage 3 reopening.
Thankfully new cases of COVID-19 have continued to trend downward in the province, though remain higher than much of the rest of Canada, particularly in the Toronto and Windsor regions. Ontario reporter 116 new cases on Monday, with 21 of 34 public health units reporting no new cases and eight reporting five or fewer new cases.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says that safety measures like wearing masks, washing and sanitizing hands, and physical distancing are key to ensuring that Ontarians can "safely enjoy the loosening of restrictions” without needing to reverting to Stage 2 or 1 because of a spike in new COVID-19 cases.
"We expect the province will remain in Stage 3 for the foreseeable future," Elliott said.