Toronto, Peel Region entering Stage 2 of Ontario’s restart phase
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Windsor-Essex remains the only region not cleared to move to the next phase, due to high COVID-19 case numbers on farms in the region.
Toronto and Peel, Ontario’s two most heavily populated regions, have entered the next phase of reopening of the province’s COVID-19 recovery plan.
The two regions officially entered Stage 2 of the pandemic reopening framework on June 24, joining nearly all the rest of the province that began ramping up activities over the past two weeks.
Windsor-Essex remains the only region not cleared to move to the next phase, due to high COVID-19 case numbers on farms in the region, particularly among migrant agricultural workers.
The move into Stage 2 for most of the province comes as Ontario reported 163 new cases of COVID-19, the second-fewest on any single day since late March. As of June 24, there are now 2,049 actives cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, 78 fewer than on June 23.
Businesses allowed to resume operations in Toronto and Peel include hair stylists, pools and tour guide services. Restaurants are also allowed to reopen their patios for dine-in service, though no one is yet allowed to be served indoors. All indoor shopping centres, malls and markets can reopen as well, with stores in these facilities following the same guidance as those set out for other retail services.
In all cases, the Ontario government says proper physical distancing measures must be maintained to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Stage 2 is part of Ontario’s three-stage reopening strategy. According to the provincial government, Stage 2 involves “taking a regional approach to opening more businesses and services, as well as community, recreational and outdoor spaces, while emphasizing public health advice and personal responsibility.” When it happens, Stage 3 will involve reopening most remaining workplaces and community spaces, while carefully and gradually lifting restrictions.