Most Of The GTA Will Officially Enter Stage 3 This Friday


More regions of Ontario will move into the third stage of the province's reopening plan later his week, the premier announced Monday, as municipal leaders signalled they would support more stringent rules for bars, restaurants and gyms to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Doug Ford says Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, Sarnia-Lambton and York Region will progress later this week.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that "28 of Ontario's 34 public-health units are reporting five or fewer cases, with 18 of them reporting no new cases at all" on Monday.

At a briefing on the province's COVID-19 situation, Dr. David Williams was asked how large a jump in daily COVID-19 cases would trigger a return to Stage 2 for those areas entering Stage 3.

The city is also asking for stricter physical distancing within the restaurants, early closure times screening protocols for staff, and mandatory face-covering requirements for staff and patrons should be clearly outlined in the amended Stage 3 order.

"Entering stage 3 does not mean the fight against COVID-19 is over".

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Of course, not everyone in the communities that remain stuck in Stage 2 are clamouring to get to the next phase.

At his biweekly briefing on Monday afternoon, Mayor John Mayor John Tory said that the province's decision to keep the city in Stage 2 for at least this week will give local officials time to implement new measures and restrictions for indoor dining once it is eventually permitted.

Ontario's chief medical officer of health said Monday the increase is outside of a surge in cases amongst migrant workers in the area, which also flared up again over the weekend with more than 60 new infections reported.

Mr. Tory and city Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa both stressed the importance of stricter rules on indoor bars because of the higher risk of transmission in such places.

"We know as a province, we can't ease up", said Ford. You can't put health ahead of the economy ever because without peoples' health there is no economy.

Restaurants and bars are allowing people back inside, but that doesn't include Toronto. "It takes only one person with COVID-19 in this type of setting to potentially infect many others".