June 15, 2020, Premier Doug Ford announced that seven more of Ontario’s public heath regions will be permitted to move from stage one to stage two of reopening this Friday, June 19.
As of Friday, Toronto, Peel, and Windsor-Essex will be the only public health regions in the province to remain in stage one.
Premier Ford was joined by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott; Minister of Finance, Rod Phillips; Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli; and Minister of Heritage, Tourism, Culture and Sport Industries, Lisa MacLeod.
Over the weekend, the Ontario government also announced the easing of restrictions on wedding and funeral ceremonies.
More Regions to Enter Stage Two
The decision to reopen additional regions was the result of observing positive trends in key public health indicators at the local level, including lower transmission of COVID-19, sufficient hospital health system capacity, local public health capacity to assist with rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing provincially.
As of Friday, June 19, at 12:01 a.m., the following public health regions will be permitted to move to stage two:
- Durham Region Health Department;
- Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
- Halton Region Health Department;
- Hamilton Public Health Services;
- Lambton Health Unit;
- Niagara Region Public Health Department; and,
- York Region Public Health Services.
Toronto Public Health, Peel Public Health, and Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will remain in stage one under ongoing assessment.
Premier Ford asked Ontarians living in the regions which will remain in stage one to be patient and urged all Ontarians to continue to follow public health advice regarding practicing physical distancing, wearing a face covering, and frequent hand washing.
Some Restrictions on Weddings and Funerals Lifted
Over the weekend, the Ontario government also announced the easing of restrictions on weddings and funerals.
Indoor weddings and funerals may now have as many attendees as 30 per cent of the capacity of the ceremony venue. Outdoor weddings and funerals will be limited to 50 attendees.
Anyone attending a wedding or funeral must continue to follow health and safety guidelines, including practicing physical distancing from people who are not from the same household or 10-person social circle.