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Niagara, Hamilton among regions moving to Stage 3 Friday


July 20, 2020
By The Canadian Press

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TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford says more regions of Ontario are moving into the third stage of the province’s reopening plan Friday.

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

“We’re working with communities across the province to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help more businesses safely and responsibly hang up their ‘Open for Business’ sign,” said Ford.

“While we want as many people back to work and taking home a paycheque again as possible, it’s important for everyone ― no matter what stage your community is in ― to remain on guard and keep following the public health advice.”

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“By working together, we can keep new case numbers down and ensure all of Ontario can enter Stage 3 when it’s safe to do so.”

Toronto staying in Stage 2

He says Toronto, Peel, and Windsor-Essex will not move ahead, because all three have larger case counts of COVID-19 than other regions.

Regions in Stage 3 can hold indoor gatherings of up to 50 people, while outdoor gatherings can include as many as 100 people as long as physical distancing measures are in place.

Restaurants are permitted to resume indoor service as long as tables are spaced two-metres apart to encourage physical distancing.

Fitness facilities, movie theatres, and casinos are also permitted to reopen under Stage 3 rules.

Businesses not able to open or resume full activities due to Stage 3 restrictions, or businesses that have ideas to safely amend Stage 3 restrictions or requirements, can visit Ontario.ca/reopen to submit a reopening proposal, according to a news release.

“I’m impressed by how seriously business owners are taking the public health advice and how easy they made it for their customers to take precautions,” said Finance Minister Rod Phillips.

“By providing plenty of space to physically distance, keeping hand sanitizer by the door and maintaining records for contact tracing, they’re playing a vital role helping fight COVID-19.”

Ontario is reporting 135 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death from the virus today.

The total number of cases now stands at 37,739, which includes a death toll of 2,752.

With files from Talent Canada