After several days of modest case increases, Brampton is finally joining the rest of the GTA in entering Stage 3 of the province’s three-part reopening plan.
On July 29, the province announced that both Toronto and Peel (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon) will to move into Stage 3 on Friday, July 31 at 12:01 a.m.
The Ontario government says the decision, made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local medical officers of health, is based on lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.
Other parts of the province entered Stage 3 on July 17 and 24, 2020.
“While more restaurants, theatres and businesses can hang up their Open for Business sign, we’re asking everyone to follow public health advice and act responsibly,” said Premier Doug Ford in a statement.
“We have made tremendous progress that allows us to return to something a little closer to our normal lives this summer, but we are not out of the woods yet. This virus is still among us and we have to be extra cautious to avoid sparking a surge or an outbreak. I strongly urge everyone to continue following public health protocols.”
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit region will remain in Stage 2 for now.
For regions in Stage 3, gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people indoors and a maximum of 100 people outdoors, with physical distancing in place. Gathering limits apply to all social gatherings and events, as well as some higher-risk activities and venues. Gathering limits do not apply to settings such as beaches, parks, restaurants and bars, but measures to enable physical distancing may limit capacity at any given time.
Regions in Stage 3 will be permitted to allow indoor drinking and dining with physical distancing measures in place. Fitness facilities, movie theatres, and casinos are also permitted to reopen.
“More businesses and services are able to reopen thanks to the collective efforts of all Ontarians to limit the spread of the virus,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, in a statement.
“While public health trends across the province are positive, we continue to closely monitor Windsor-Essex so that we can move the community into Stage 3 when the time is right. No matter which stage a region is in, everyone needs to continue to follow public health advice to protect themselves, their families and community.”
The province says it supports proposals made by Toronto Public Health relating to restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments that are permitted to be open. Over the past few weeks, Toronto Mayor John Tory, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and other GTHA mayors have called for more protective measures, such as strict rules around masking, requiring people to remain seated in bars, capacity limits inside facilities and log-keeping for contact tracing.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health experts will monitor the evolving situation and advise when public health restrictions can be further loosened or tightened once more.
Residents are asked to practice physical distancing with those outside their household or social circle, wear a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so, stay home when ill, and wash hands frequently and thoroughly.