BREAKING: Ontario announces the details for the next phase of reopening

In a press conference this afternoon, Premier Doug Ford revealed the details of Ontario’s second phase of reopening amid COVID-19.

This next phase, which will apply to select regions of the province, will officially kick off this Friday June 12th at 12:01 am and see more of Ontario’s economy reopening; though, the Hamilton area and the GTA are excluded from this date.

One of the key pieces of this second phase is the increase of gatherings to a new maximum of ten people as long as they maintain proper physical distancing; a move that marks a jump up from the current limit of five people.

“Entering Stage 2 means parts of the province will see more people back on the job and an opportunity to get back together with friends and family,” said Premier Ford.

Many public spaces are also allowed to reopen under controlled circumstances as long as they are able to support proper physical distancing between patrons, including venues such as museums and art galleries.

The list of businesses allowed to reopen as part of Phase 2 includes shopping malls, hairdressers and barbers, drive-in entertainment venues, and restaurants & bars for outdoor patio service only.

Recreational amenities such as swimming pools, wading pools, splash pads, beaches, and campsites at Ontario parks can reopen, and training for outdoor team sports can resume as well.

Wedding venues, including religious institutions, will be allowed to host wedding ceremonies as long as they abide by the ten person limit.

But don’t get too excited yet; many of the regions in the Golden Horseshoe are currently excluded from this advancement to Phase 2 until they are deemed safe to reopen, including Hamilton, Halton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, Toronto, Durham, and York.

These areas will remain in the first reopening phase until they show significant and consistent trends in the reduction of new COVID-19 cases.

However, with much of Ontario around these areas reopening this week, it wouldn’t be farfetched to say that Hamilton and the surrounding areas may not be too far behind as long as residents stay the course regarding health and safety guidelines.

Read the Province of Ontario’s Phase 2 Framework for Reopening here.

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