Ontario to Announce Stage 3 Reopening Details Monday

FILE PHOTO: Ontario Premier Doug Ford is seen after a meeting with Canada’s provincial premiers in Toronto, Ontario, Canada December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/File Photo

Ontario Premier Doug Ford will announce details on Monday about the province’s third stage of reopening, his office said on Sunday, a step likely to end most restrictions introduced in March to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Stage 3 will allow “most remaining workplaces and community spaces” to reopen, according to the province’s website, although “large public gatherings will continue to be restricted.”

Canada’s most-populous province and the country’s economic engine laid out a three-stage framework in April for reopening, allowing the whole province into the first stage on May 19. Many regions in the province were able to move to Stage 2 on June 12, which allowed for the reopening of restaurant patios and hair salons.

But harder-hit areas – including densely populated Toronto, and Windsor Essex, a region near the Ontario-Michigan border with clusters of cases among agricultural workers – were not able to graduate to the second stage until late June and early July.

Ontario, with a population of 14.6 million, reported 129 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths on Saturday, according to public health agency data. Ontario has the second-highest number of cases and deaths behind Quebec.

Canada has reported 107,347 cases since the pandemic began, including 8,773 deaths, according to the latest government data.

SOURCE: Reuters, Moira Warburton