The Government of Ontario is extending the provincial Stay-at-Home order until at least June 2.
“We need to do everything in our power to protect this summer for all Ontarians. My goal is to have the most normal July and August possible,” Ford said.
“Obviously, that won’t mean large sporting events or concerts, but if we manage the next few weeks properly, I believe that we can have things in a very good place this summer.”
The province noted that “consideration is being made” to reopen outdoor recreational amenities on June 2. More details on Ontario’s reopening plan will be provided at that time.
Ford said the “one thing” that threatens the summer is the “weak and porous border measures” put in place by the federal government that have failed to stop virus variants.
The premier noted that he has made several requests to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to implement harsher international border measures, but said all he’s heard for weeks is “crickets.”
“The federal government needs to protect us all from a fourth wave fueled by vaccine-resistant variants,” Ford said. “We won’t relent on this.”
At a press conference on May 7, Trudeau said he offered to restrict the arrival of several groups of international travellers into Ontario at Ford’s request.
According to Trudeau, though, it was Ford who has not followed up on the matter.
In a statement, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath said that the Stay-at-Home order was being extended due to Ford’s own “choices,” and was not based on the advice of experts.
“People are frustrated. They are exhausted. They are struggling with isolation. And they will be devastated to hear this Stay-at-Home order has to be extended, yet again, because of Doug Ford’s choices,” Horwath said.
“People and families have to stay locked down because Ford refuses to do what the experts have been telling him to do.”
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With the extension of the Stay-at-Home order, all Ontario public schools will continue to operate under the remote-learning model.
Ford announced that beginning the week of May 31, youth between the ages of 12 and 17 and their family members will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
Special dedicated youth and family clinics will run throughout the weeks of June 14 and 21. The province plans to have all youth fully vaccinated by the end of August.
“We are not yet at the point where we can safely exit the Stay-at-Home Order, as our health system remains under significant strain,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
“By continuing to strictly follow all measures, we can further reduce transmission of the virus, safeguard hospital and public health capacity, and save lives.”
To date, Ontario has seen 499,412 COVID-19 cases and 8,374 deaths.