Canada: Vast majority of Ontario to enter Stage 3 of reopening, Premier Doug Ford announces
Ottawa/IBNS: In his daily news briefings, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that the vast majority of Canada's Ontario, which include twenty-four regions, would be able to enter Stage 3 of reopening this Friday.
Ontario's Stage 3 details on reopening framework were provided by Ford, Christine Elliott, Ontario's Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Ontario Minister of Finance, and Stephen Lecce, Ontario Minister of Education.
The regions which will be excluded in entering Stage 3 include Toronto, York Region, Peel region, Durham region, Niagara, Windsor-Essex, Norfolk and Lambton, said Ford.
"I want the people of these regions to know that we won't leave anyone behind and we will provide an update every Monday on regional reopenings. We will keep working until every part of this province gets to stage 3. We are moving forward as a province but we can't stop.We won't stop until we get every person in Ontario, until we get every worker in Ontario back to work and back on their feet," said Ford.
During Stage 3, limits on public gatherings in regions would increase up to 100 people for outdoors gatherings and upto 50 people indoors with strict protocols of physical distancing with those outside their social circle.
"In stage 3 we will also give another boost to our economic region to restart," said Ford.
The facilities that will be allowed to open in Stage 3 include dining restaurants; bars, gyms and fitness centres, most fitness care services, live shows performances in arts and movie theatres, casinos, recreational facilities and activities, team sports and live sporting events and tour and guide services, conferences, fundraisers, fairs, festivals, and open houses.
Ontario has over 170 workplace resources, said Ford, available online to help all of these spaces to reopen safely.
"The key part in getting people back to work is to ensure parents, workers have child support they need... I want to see every child in Ontario practice school full time this September. This is where we are working towards with the support of our Medical Officer of Health and our local school boards and I am confident that we will get there...But we will not take unnecessary risks when it comes to our children and that is why we have to continue playing for every possible scenario to keep our kids safe as we get back to school," said Ford.
To allow parents to return safely to work, beginning on July 27, 2020, child care centres will start operating with cohorts of 15 children, an increase from the current cohort cap of 10.
It has also been advised by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials that some facilities of high-risk places and activities remain closed, even if a region has entered Stage 3, due to difficulties with physical distancing in large crowds, or challenges with health protocols due to COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
These facilities of high-risk places include amusement parks and water parks; buffet-style food services; dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment; 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.
It was also reported that businesses and municipalities, permitted to enter Stage 3 based on their region, may choose to take more time before reopening.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)