With cases of COVID-19 now on a consistent downward slope, Ontario is ready to enter Stage 3 of the government's economic reopening plan — details of which are set to be revealed by the province this afternoon.
Senior government officials have confirmed to multiple news outlets that Premier Doug Ford will formally announce the beginning of Stage 3 during his daily news conference at 1 p.m. today alongside his ministers of health, finance and education.
It is not yet known which specific emergency orders will be lifted or modified, but the provincial government did state in its reopening framework document that Stage 3 will entail "the opening of all workplaces responsibly" and "further relaxing the restrictions on public gatherings."
Indoor dining areas, gyms and movie theatres are widely rumoured to be among the business types slated for reopening under Stage 3.
What almost certainly won't get the green light this afternoon are large concerts and sporting events.
"When it comes to concerts or the baseball game, we still won't be able to go to a baseball game and put 30,000 people in the stands or any concerts that might be happening," said Ford to reporters at Queen's Park on Friday.
"We just want to see a consistent downward trend and we have. We've had a couple of little road bumps within the migrant worker community that we’re getting over and they're working hard."
Similar to what we saw with the roll out of Stage 2 on June 19, a "regional approach" is expected.
Data from local public health units will reportedly determine which regions can enter Stage 3 first, meaning that Toronto and Peel Region could once again lag slightly behind other parts of the province.
It is not yet known when Stage 3 will begin or which regions will be among the first to reopen, but unnamed government sources told The Star that eligible businesses and attractions "will be able to open by the end of this week."
by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO