TORONTO — Nearly all businesses, including gyms, movie theatres and indoor dining, can re-open on July 17 in the majority of Ontario’s 34 local public-health-unit regions as the province enters Stage Three through a regional approach. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and a few other regions remain exceptions. 

This means all restaurants, bars, concession stands and other food-and-drink establishments are allowed to re-open for indoor dining in Stage Three. Nightclubs are still banned from re-opening, except for the purpose of serving food or drinks. 

Health units in the GTA, along with a few others such as Niagara and Windsor, are not included on the list of regions moving forward to Stage Three. The regions excluded from the list will remain in Stage Two of the re-start phase until further notice.

For the regions moving forward to Stage Three, there will be a significant increase to social-gathering limits. Indoor-gathering limits will increase from 10 to a maximum of 50 people, while outdoor-gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people. 

Physical distancing is still required during any gathering with people from outside an individual’s social circle. The province is not increasing the number of people a person can gather with without physical-distancing measures in place. 

The government is also banning a number of high-risk businesses and activities from resuming in Stage Three, including amusement parks, water parks, buffet-style foodservices, dancing in restaurants and bars, overnight stays at camps for children, private karaoke rooms, prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports, saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars. Casinos will be allowed to re-open, but table games are banned. 

Gyms and fitness studios can also re-open with safety protocols in place. Organized sports can also resume, with the exception of contact sports. Playgrounds, community centres and libraries will also re-open and the province will also allow personal-support services to resume that involve a customers’ face, such as facials and some piercings.

As more businesses and activities re-open, COVID-19 trends will be monitored closely and restrictions can be “further loosened or, if they need to be, tightened.”

People are still being asked to work remotely as much as possible.

These are the regions moving forward to Stage Three on Friday: 

  • Algoma Public Health
  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Public HealthEastern 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

These are the regions remaining in Stage Two: 

  • 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 


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