QUEEN’S PARK — Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson has announced that nearly all businesses in the region can open as of Friday, July 17 as the region moves to Stage 3 of the province's reopening framework with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place.
“Moving forward to Stage 3 is a direct result of how residents and businesses in Huron-Bruce have been so responsible and reliable, during this pandemic,” Thompson said. “We do not take this step lightly and all safety precautions must still be practised and honoured.”
As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Ontario will be increasing gathering limits for those regions entering the next stage to the following:
- Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people;
- Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people;
- Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements.
Public gathering limits apply to indoor and outdoor events, such as community events or gatherings, concerts, live shows, festivals, conferences, sports and recreational fitness activities, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses. A two-metre distance must still be maintained at such events.
“We have been able to proceed into Stage 3 because residents throughout Huron-Bruce have respected the guidance from both of our medical officers of health as well as the Ministry. But this by no means indicates we can let up,” added Thompson. “We need to continue following the guidelines as we see our region continue to reopen! We need to continue with best practices so we can safely and confidently support our local communities.”
The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following, high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, even if a region has entered 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:
- 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.
For more information on the restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, as well as the public health guidance necessary to keep the people of Ontario safe, visit Ontario.ca/reopen.
The province is committed to working closely and collaboratively with businesses and sectors not yet able to reopen or who are experiencing significant challenges for reopening due to Stage 3 restrictions. These businesses can visit Ontario.ca/reopen to work with the government on a reopening proposal that will enable them to safely resume or increase operations. Government and public health officials will review proposals and contact businesses for feedback or clarifications.
As the province safely and gradually enters Stage 3, 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. Beginning on 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. This change will allow parents to return to work, and bring the child care sector to approximately 90 per cent of its operating capacity before the COVID-19 outbreak.
The government, in partnership with health and safety associations, has released over 170 guidance resources at Ontario.ca/COVIDsafety to help employers in multiple sectors ― including fitness, restaurant and food services, and the performing arts ― keep spaces safe for workers and customers. Guidance will be available for all spaces permitted to open in Stage 3. As they prepare to reopen, employers are strongly advised to review and implement appropriate measures to help protect their communities.
The government invites businesses not able to open or resume full activities due to Stage 3 restrictions to visit Ontario.ca/reopen to submit a reopening proposal.
For questions on restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, review the Stage 3 Emergency Order on the emergency information portal or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
The Ontario government has launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply PPE.
The government has also launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal to help businesses retool their operations.
Free online workplace health and safety training is available through Employment Ontario for up to 100,000 job seekers, with topics such as infection control, conducting health and safety incident investigations, ladder safety, slips, trips and falls prevention. Contact an Employment Ontario service provider in your area to enroll.
- Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board, is leading a new committee focused on strengthening the work of the Ontario government following the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee will ensure public sector services are customer focused and digital- and data-driven, while increasing the speed of government operations and decisions.
Find sector-specific guidelines and return-to-sport resources to help facilities, trainers and athletes safely return to play and recreation activities in Ontario at Ontario.ca/returntoplay.
Media contact: Nicko Vavassis,