Ontario releases gradual reopening plan, though no exact dates provided


Ontario Province laid out a plan in a series of stages that show how Ontario plans to reopen, but it is not a calendar. This plan will be implemented under the “New Normal” conditions of maintaining social distancing and ensuring the health and safety of individuals, until a vaccination is found where Ontario can then go back to normal.


Businesses from all sectors are encouraged to present ideas and best practices as a proposal to their MPPs on how the business will reopen while meeting the public health guidance in their operations for presenting to the health committee for review and considerations.


The province has classified its response to COVID-19 in three phases: Protect and Support, which includes the imposition of emergency orders and restrictions; Restart, which is a gradual reopening of the economy; and Recover, which is ensuring safety amid a “new normal.”


Beginning on May 4th the “Restart” phase has taken effect, the plan includes three stages for reopening:


Stage 1

· Businesses that can immediately meet or modify operations to meet public health guidance and occupational health and safety, for instance through curbside pick-up or delivery.

· Open some outdoor spaces like parks.

· Allow for a greater number of individuals to attend some events, like funerals.

· Hospitals begin to offer some non-urgent scheduled surgeries and other services.

· Continued protections for vulnerable populations and practice of physical distancing.


Stage 2

· Open more workplaces “based on risk assessments.” This could include service industries and additional offices, as well as retail.

· Open more outdoor spaces and allow some larger public gatherings.

· Continued protections for vulnerable populations and continued practice of physical distancing.


Stage 3

· Open all workplaces “responsibly.”

· Further relaxing restrictions on public gatherings.

· Continued restrictions on large public gatherings, including concerts and sporting events until the “foreseeable future.”

· Continued protections for vulnerable populations and continued practice of physical distancing.


Even after reopening has been completed, the final stage of the plan includes the “continued practice of physical distancing” and “significant mitigation plans” to limit health risks.

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