Ontario reopening: Ottawa, Kingston and other parts of Ontario can move into Stage 3 on Friday

The Ontario government has announced parts of the province will be able to move into Stage 3 of reopening on Friday. These regions are:

  • Algoma Public Health

  • Brant County Health Unit

  • Chatham-Kent Public Health

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit

  • Grey Bruce Health Unit

  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit

  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

  • Huron Perth Public Health

  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health

  • Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

  • Middlesex-London Health Unit

  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit

  • Northwestern Health Unit

  • Ottawa Public Health

  • Peterborough Public Health

  • Porcupine Health Unit

  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts

  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services

  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit

  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit

  • Southwestern Public Health

  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit

  • Timiskaming Health Unit

  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

This excludes: 

  • Toronto Public Health

  • York Region Public Health

  • Peel Public Health

  • Hamilton Public Health Services

  • Halton Region Public Health

  • Durham Region Health Department

  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit

  • Lambton Public Health

  • Niagara Region Public Health

  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

Government of Ontario

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said provincial officials will provide updates every Monday on where these remaining regions stand in terms of being able to move from Stage 2 to Stage 3 of reopening.

Some businesses and services that will be able to resume operations in some areas on Friday include:

  • Dine-in services at restaurants, bars

  • Gyms and fitness centres

  • Additional personal care services (ex. facials, ear piercing, eyebrow grooming and eyelash extensions)

  • Live shows, performing arts, movie theatres, live sporting events (with gathering limits)

  • Casinos (with gathering limits)

  • Playgrounds

  • Tour and guide services

Outdoor gathering limits will be increased to 100 people and indoor gathering will be allowed with up to 50 people present, but physical distancing practices will still be in place. The social circle limit of 10 people will remain.

Beginning on Jul. 27, child care centres can operate with cohorts of 15 children, which the province indicates brings the child care sector to about 90 per cent of its pre-COVID-19 operating capacity.

Minister of Health Christine Elliott indicated it is expected that more Stage 3 measures will remain for some time, possibly until there is a vaccine available, but if the province is able to keep case numbers down with no new outbreaks, provincial officials may allow for gradually expanding things like the size of gatherings.

Businesses and services that are still not considered safe for Stage 3 of reopening includes:

  • 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

Do you feel comfortable with Ontario entering Stage 3 of reopening? Is it too soon? Vote in the poll above and tell us in the comments below.