On June 8, 2020, Premier Doug Ford announced further details about Stage 2 of Ontario’s reopening. Proceeding on a regional approach, the Premier announced that most regions in the province will be able to move to Stage 2 effective Friday, June 12 at 12:01 AM. Additionally, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2, the limit on social gatherings will be increased from five to ten (with physical distancing still in place), and places of worship will be allowed to open with attendance limited to a maximum of 30% of building capacity.
All public health unit regions will be allowed to move to Stage 2 as of June 12 except for certain regions around the Greater Toronto Area and regions close to the United States border, namely: Toronto, York, Durham, Peel, Hamilton, Halton, Lambton, Haldimand-Norfolk, Niagara, and Windsor-Essex. At the beginning of each week, the government will provide an update on the ongoing assessment of these regions, and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2 at the end of the week.
Premier Ford has indicated that the government will not be implementing any travel restrictions between regions of the province that are in different stages of reopening.
Stage 2 will allow an expanded range of businesses and services to resume with proper health and safety measures in place, including:
- Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants and bars;
- Select personal care services including barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
- Shopping malls, including food courts reopening for take-out only;
- Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours;
- Swimming pools;
- Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
- Camping at private campgrounds;
- Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports;
- Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, and animal attractions;
- Film and television production activities; and
- Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.
The province has also announced that it will release more details on the reopening of childcare services, summer camps, training centres and public transit soon. For further details on the businesses and services allowed during Stage 2, see the news release from the Office of the Premier.
The provincial government has also worked with health and safety associations to develop over 100 health and safety guidance documents to help employers in multiple sectors, including retail, restaurant and food services and childcare, which are available at Ontario.ca/COVIDsafety. The government is strongly advising employers to review these guidance documents and implement appropriate measures to help protect their workers and customers.
This blog is provided as an information service and summary of workplace legal issues. This information is not intended as legal advice.