COVID-19: Stage 2 of Provincial Re-opening Moves Ahead

This week, the Ontario government announced that it is moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening the province.

Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the number of people permitted in social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province in all regions.  In addition, places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity.

In addition, businesses and services in numerous regions across the province will be allowed to re-open, including:

      • 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.

This does not include businesses in the following regions, which remain in Stage 1 due to insufficient reductions in new cases in those areas:

      •  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

At the beginning of each week, the government will be providing an update based on the ongoing assessment of these regions, and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2 at the end of the week.

The government also indicated that it would soon release more details on plans for the re-opening of the following services:

      • Child care;
      • Summer camps;
      • Post-secondary education pilots to help people graduate;
      • Training centres; and
      • Public transit.

The government reiterated that “everyone, regardless of where they live in the province, must continue to follow public health advice, including to practice physical distancing, wear a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.

As always, PooranLaw will continue to monitor developments related to the re-opening of businesses and services across the province and provide updates here.  In the meantime, if you require legal assistance, we encourage you to reach out to your regular PooranLaw lawyer, or any member of our team.

Note: This article provides general information only and does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice or opinion. PooranLaw Professional Corporation holds the copyright to this article and the article and its contents may not be copied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of PooranLaw Professional Corporation.