The first wave of the pandemic seems to be passing. The lockdown and social distancing measures seem to have worked. The daily case count has gone down.
Like other provinces, Ontario, too, is also reopening its economy in stages. Keeping public health and safety in mind, the provincial government has adopted a three-staged approach to reopening Ontario.
The extent of the COVID-19 outbreak varies across regions in Ontario. So, all regions will be allowed to reopen in stages only when they meet public health criteria. Key public health indicators include:
- Virus spread and containment
- Health system capacity
- Public health system capacity
- Incidence tracking capacity
Each stage will last between two to three weeks. Public health experts will assess virus containment. They will review the effect of existing measures before moving on to the next stage.
All construction, retail stores with street-front entrance and motor vehicle dealerships reopened. Seasonal and recreational activities and individual sport activity resumed.
Health care services, animal services and household services reopened. Libraries opened for pickups and drop-offs.
Ontario allowed 24 of its 34 regions to enter Phase 2 on June 12, 2020. The remaining regions got the green signal on June 24, and only after their daily case count went down.
More businesses and services could reopen, provided they met public health guidelines.
Social gathering limits across Ontario increased to up to 10 people. Places of worship reopened with a 30% seating capacity limit.
Shopping centres and malls were allowed to reopen. Personal care services and outdoor recreational facilities (eg., archery, paintball) opened as well.
Food trucks, restaurants, bars can now open for outdoor dining only. Camping, outdoor team sports, tour & guide services also resumed.
Community centres reopened with limited on-site programs and services. Libraries extended on-site services, such as computer access.
Water recreational facilities (indoor & outdoor swimming pools with slides out of bounds) reopened. As did galleries, museums, aquariums, zoos, etc., with restrictions in place.
Photography studios and services and film and TV production activities also resumed in Phase 2.
Ontario plans to reopen remaining businesses and services, preferring remote work where possible.
Health experts will continue to observe virus containment and impact of measures in place.
Phase 3 will allow dine-in for restaurants, bars and other food services. The government will open all indoor and outdoor recreational facilities. Relax remaining restrictions on personal care services
Performance art shows and cinemas will reopen with reduced capacity. Horse racing, casinos and charitable gaming events will also resume.
Gyms, indoor sports facilities and fitness facilities will reopen with some restrictions.
Ontario will reopen waterparks and amusement parks with restrictions. The province will allow training for indoor team sports and individual high-contact sports.