Most of Ontario moves/moved into Stage 3 by July 24
By Anthony Capkun
July 23, 2020 – The Ontario government is allowing seven more regions to enter Stage 3 on July 24, increasing the number of businesses and public spaces that will reopen across the province.
“While we want as many people back to work and taking home a paycheque again as possible, it’s important for everyone—no matter what stage your community is in—to remain on guard and keep following the public health advice,” said Premier Doug Ford.
The following Public Health Units are allowed to move into Stage 3 on July 24 at 12:01 am:
• Durham Region Health Department
• Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
• Halton Region Health Department
• Hamilton Public Health Services
• Lambton Health Unit
• Niagara Region Public Health Department
• York Region Public Health Services
These regions join the 24 Public Health Regions that entered into Stage 3 on July 17. For more information on the restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3—as well as the public health and workplace safety restrictions necessary to keep people safe—visit Ontario.ca/reopen.
Unfortunately, the following regions will remain in Stage 2 until “local trends of key public health indicators demonstrate readiness” to move into Stage 3:
• Peel Public Health
• Toronto Public Health
• Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
“Entering Stage 3 does not mean the fight against COVID-19 is over,” warned Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “We all must remain vigilant and continue following public health advice to ensure the progress we have made so far in stopping the spread will not be undone.”
Businesses not able to open or resume full activities due to Stage 3 restrictions, or businesses that have ideas to safely amend Stage 3 restrictions or requirements, can visit Ontario.ca/reopen to submit a reopening proposal. Government and public health officials will review proposals and contact businesses for feedback or clarifications. Proposals may inform the potential loosening of restrictions as Stage 3 progresses. Proposals will receive initial feedback within 10 days of submission. A sector could be allowed to reopen or resume Stage 3 activities based on proposals submitted by businesses.
For regions in Stage 3, gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people indoors and a maximum of 100 people outdoors (with physical distancing in place). Gathering limits apply to all social gatherings and events, as well as some higher-risk activities and venues. Gathering limits do not apply to settings such as beaches, parks, restaurants and bars, but measures to enable physical distancing may limit capacity at any given time.
Some municipalities have implemented additional restrictions or requirements, such as mandatory face coverings in commercial establishments and all indoor public places. Check your local public health unit’s or local municipality’s website.