Ontario doubling limit on gatherings, more businesses to reopen in next phase of Covid-19 recovery plan
LONDONERS WILL SOON be allowed to gather in groups up to 10 and many more businesses and services will be allowed to begin operating again as part of the next phase of the province’s regional reopening, set to begin in some areas later this week.
On Monday, Premier Doug Ford outlined the details of Phase 2 of Ontario’s plan to lift restrictions on its semi-lockdown, implemented to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
Twenty-four of Ontario’s 34 public health units will be allowed to move into Phase 2 on Friday. The remaining 10, concentrated primarily in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and near the U.S.-Canada border, will need to wait until new daily case numbers consistently decrease.
According to Ontario’s regional approach to reopening the provincial economy, municipalities outside the GTA, Hamilton, and the regions of Haldimand-Norfolk, Lambton, Niagara, and Windsor-Essex will be permitted to reopen the following services:
- 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.
Province to implement commercial eviction ban
During the briefing, Ford announced that Ontario will ban commercial evictions starting June 3 until the end of August as business owners struggle with the fallout of the pandemic.
Ford had previously resisted a push from groups representing small business owners for a temporary ban, instead appealing on several occasions for landlords to “have a heart” and allow for grace periods on rent fees.
Ford said some landlords have not been listening to his appeal, prompting the province to order this legislation.
“Our small business owners are the backbone of our communities and now more than ever, we all need to support them,” Ford said.