Ontario to start lifting restrictions in some regions Wednesday


The Ontario government said on Monday the province will begin a phased reopening on Wednesday, however, a majority of regions will remain in lockdown amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, the province’s stay-at-home order will be lifted for three public health units in eastern Ontario, including Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington Public Health, and Renfrew County Public Health.

The three regions will be moved to the province’s green or “prevent” zone, which will allow businesses, including all retail shops, hair salons, restaurants, bars, gyms and movie theatres to reopen, and private indoor gatherings to resume.

“We can’t return to normal, not yet,” Ford said. “But we can transition out of the provincewide shut-down.”

In the green zone, restaurants and non-essential businesses will be allowed to reopen.

The announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Health Christine Elliott and the Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams on Monday afternoon.

Toronto, Peel and York regions will continue under the stay-at-home order until Feb. 22, and will most likely be placed in the Grey-Lockdown zone, while the rest of the 28 public health units will begin reopening Feb. 16.

Further loosening of public health measures for any region of Ontario will be restricted for at least 28 days after the last public health unit returns to the reopening framework.

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