ONTARIO LAYS OUT FRAMEWORK FOR GRADUAL REOPENING

Feb 08, 2021

By Christine Ross

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Ontario’s state of emergency will expire tomorrow but stay-at-home orders will remain in effect.

“We’re maintaining shut down measures in the majority of the public health regions in Ontario for a short time but we will look to gradually and safely transition all regions to revised and stronger COVID-19 response framework,” announced Premier Doug Ford.

Saying measures are working, Ford says most of the province will slowly re-open February 16th with the exception of Toronto, Peel and York set to remain in full lockdown for at least two more weeks until February 22nd.

If these three regions are placed in the strictest grey level on the 22nd, it means a return to in-person shopping with strict capacity limits but restaurants, bars and fitness clubs will remain closed.

Three regions in Eastern Ontario with a lower number of COVID cases will go into the green level of restrictions this Wednesday.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says this time within the colour coded framework, they’ve introduced an emergency brake to move a region into lockdown if cases spike.

“Well we know that many areas are wanting to know where they’re going to be, whether back to green or where they’ll be in the framework but we need to watch it very carefully and we need to get the numbers down in our hospitals, the numbers is some parts of the province, the numbers are still very, very high,” said Elliott.

Meantime, Premier Ford also says hydro rates will be kept at off-peak hours for a little while longer.

Ontario ski hills will be allowed to open in all regions, including grey lockdown zones, as of next week, with conditions.

However, they won`t be opening just yet in Toronto, York or Peel which are under stay at home order until at least the 22nd.

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