Ontario Releases Stage 3 Plans for Provincial COVID-19 Reopening

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Government of Ontario announced today Ontario’s reopening framework for entering Stage 3. Most communities across the province will enter the third stage this Friday, July 17 while other parts will remain in Stage 2 for a little while longer.  

The following regions will not be moving to Stage 3 yet:

  • Toronto 
  • York 
  • Peel 
  • Durham 
  • Niagara 
  • Windsor-Essex
  • Haldimand-Norfolk
  • Halton 
  • Hamilton 
  • Lambton 

Since these more “problematic” regions entered Stage 2 later than the rest of Ontario, the province says it will need more time to prepare for their re-opening and will provide an update every Monday until all regions are open.

Public Gatherings

All regions advancing to Stage 3 will see an extension to public gathering limits. Gathering limits apply to higher risk settings and activities where people congregate.

The new public gathering limits will be:

  • Up to 100 people for outdoor gatherings 
  • Up to 50 people for indoor gatherings 

However, the plan requires that people continue to practice physical distancing outside of their social networks. Regions remaining in Stage 2 will maintain the existing gathering limit of 10 people. Social circles in all stages at this point will also be kept to a maximum of 10 people province-wide, regardless of stage.

Re-Opening of Businesses

Nearly all businesses and public spaces will be allowed to open their doors safely as of Friday. This includes:

  • Dine-in restaurants 
  • Bars
  • Gyms and fitness center
  • Most Personal care services
  • Live shows perf arts movie theatres
  • Casinos 
  • Recreational facilities and activities 
  • Team sports and live sporting events
  • Tour and Guide services

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have identified the following, high-risk places and activities as not safe to re-open even if a region enters Stage 3. Due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID‑19, the following places and activities will remain closed until further notice: 

  • Amusement parks and water parks
  • Buffet-style food services
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements
  • Overnight stays at camps for children
  • Private karaoke rooms
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments

Child Care and Home Child Care

Child care centres and home child care providers across Ontario will be able to continue to operate with strict safety and operational requirements in place. As of July 27, 2020, child care centres will be permitted to operate with cohorts of 15 children, which is an increase from the current cohort cap of 10. 

For more information on how the province plans to reopen visit the Reopening Ontario page from the Government of Ontario website.