Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that gatherings will increase from five to 10 people starting at 12:01 am on Friday, June 12,
But, physical distancing measures are still in place when people gather, according to Health Minister, Christine Elliot.
This increase is allowed in all regions, whether or not they have moved to the province’s Stage 2 of reopening – which is expected as of Friday as well.
Several public health units in various regions in the province are allowed move into Stage 2, but Toronto will not be one of them.
“We are able to make this announcement today because of the extraordinary effort of our frontline workers and every other person in the province who helped to stop the spread of this deadly virus,” said Ford.
“Entering Stage 2 means parts of the province will see more people back on the job and an opportunity to get back together with friends and family. Although this is extremely encouraging, I urge everyone to exercise caution and continue to follow public health advice as we are not out of the woods yet.”
Regions that will move into Stage 2 at a later date include:
- Durham Region Health Department
- Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
- Halton Region Public Health
- Hamilton Public Health Services
- Lambton Public Health
- Niagara Region Public Health
- Peel Public Health
- Toronto Public Health
- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
- York Region Public Health
Public health unit regions allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 12 at 12:01 am include:
- Algoma Public Health
- Brant County Health Unit
- Chatham-Kent Public Health
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit
- Grey Bruce Health Unit
- Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
- Huron Perth Public Health
- Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
- Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
- Middlesex-London Health Unit
- North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
- Northwestern Health Unit
- Ottawa Public Health
- Peterborough Public Health
- Porcupine Health Unit
- Public Health Sudbury & Districts
- Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
- Renfrew County and District Health Unit
- Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
- Southwestern Public Health
- Thunder Bay District Health Unit
- Timiskaming Health Unit
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
Ford added that there will be no travel restrictions for people in restricted areas going to non restricted areas.
Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30% of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.
According to the province, while Stage 2 businesses and workplaces can open as soon as June 12, dates and approaches may vary based on each community’s local needs and the ability of each business or service to meet workplace safety guidelines and public health advice.
According to the province, businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:
- Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties
- Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons
- Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only
- Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries
- Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools
- Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks
- Camping at private campgrounds
- Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing
- Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations
- Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing
- Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people
As more people return to work, the services they rely on will need to be available regardless of the stage a region is in. The province will soon release more details on:
- Child care;
- Summer camps;
- Post-secondary education pilots to help people graduate;
- Training centres; and
- Public transit.
At the beginning of each week, the government will provide an update on the ongoing assessment of these regions, and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2 at the end of the week.
“Everyone, regardless of where they live in the province, must continue to follow public health advice, including to practise physical distancing, wear a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth,” the province said.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.
Ontario is currently in Stage 1 of reopening the economy— there are three stages in Phase 2, which is focused on restarting the economy in a phased and gradual approach.