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Ontario Easing Restrictions and Permitting More Businesses and Services to Open Soon in Some Communities

Published on
June 8, 2020

Today, the Ontario government announced that as of this Friday, it is moving forward with a targeted regional approach to Stage 2 of the phased reopening of the province. In regions entering Stage 2, they will see patios, personal care facilities, recreational facilities and other services permitted to open with strict physical distancing in place.

The Premier also announced, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, that effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., in all regions:

  • The limit on social gatherings will increase from five to 10 people; and
  • Places of worship will be able to serve their congregations with attendance limited to 30 per cent of building capacity.

The provincial Framework for Reopening Our Province: Stage 2 outlines the details; in regions entering Stage 2 following businesses and services will be permitted to open with the proper health and safety measures in place:

  • 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; and
  • Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.

The Ontario government will provide a status update on regions remaining in Stage 1 every Monday and those regions that are ready to proceed to Stage 2, at the end of the week (Friday). Using a targeted regional reopening structure will allow for quick and nimble decision making, while benefitting from the expertise of regional medical officers who are best suited to make decisions on the ground in each region. The weekly assessments and decisions will be made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local health officials and will be based on trends of key public health indicators (lower rates of transmission, increased capacity in hospitals and progress in testing).

Regions Remaining in Stage 1:

The regions under the following public health units will remain in Stage 1:

  • 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

Regions Entering Stage 2 Reopening:

The regions under the following public health units are permitted to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m.:

  • 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.

The province recognizes that certain services will be required across the province as more people return to work. More details will be available soon on child care, summer camps, post-secondary education pilots to help people graduate, training centres and public transit.

Today’s reopening announcement was a cautious first  step toward a full province wide Stage 2 reopening, and Premier Ford was clear throughout today’s announcement - they are listening to the advice of the provinces top medical professionals, and by implementing this regional approach the province will remain nimble in their response to the needs of regional medical teams, while respecting the economic need to begin the process of reopening the province. While this is exciting news for regions moving into Stage 2, the public was urged to continue to maintain social distancing, and continue to follow the advice of provincial public health officials.

In addition, the Ontario government announced that it plans to introduce legislation, as soon as possible, to amend the Commercial Tenancies Act and temporarily ban commercial evictions for businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance. If passed, the legislation would reverse evictions that occurred on or after June 3, 2020 and would make it illegal to evict a commercial tenant until August 31, 2020.

Consult the Sussex COVID-19 Guide for information on supports made available across the Federal, Provincial and Municipal Governments.

Let Sussex help connect you with the right people in government to help your organization get through these extraordinary times and navigate COVID-19 support programs.

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