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Much of Ontario heading into Stage 3 of COVID-19 reopening plan this Friday except Toronto

Many businesses, including movie theatres, gyms and indoor dining, can reopen on Friday in parts of Ontario, except for the Toronto-area and a few other regions, as the province enters Stage 3 through a regional approach. 

Indoor gathering limits will increase from 10 to a maximum of 50 people, while outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people. 

However, according to the plan, physical distancing remains a requirement for all people who are not from the same household or established social circle. 

The following public health units will remain in Stage 2 for the time being:

  • Durham Region Health Department.​​​​​​

  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.

  • Halton Region Public Health.

  • Hamilton Public Health Services. 

  • Lambton Public Health. 

  • Niagara Region Public Health.

  • Peel Public Health. 

  • Toronto Public Health.

  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

  • York Region Public Health.

The government is also banning a number of high-risk businesses and activities from resuming in Stage 3, including:

Amusement parks

Water parks

Buffet-style food services

Dancing in restaurants and bars

Overnight stays at camps for children

Private karaoke rooms

Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports, saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars.

Casinos will be allowed to reopen but table games are banned. 

All restaurants, bars, concession stands, and other food and drink establishments are allowed to reopen for indoor dining in Stage 3. Nightclubs are still banned from reopening, except for the purpose of serving food or drinks. 

Gyms and fitness studios can also reopen with safety protocols in place. Organized sports can also resume, with the exception of contact sports. 

Playgrounds, community centre and libraries will also reopen. 

The province will also allow personal support services to resume that involve a customers' face, such as facials and some piercings.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said that Ontario will remain in Stage 3 for the "foreseeable future."

"Certainly we are all hoping there will be a vaccine in short order but apart from that we will remain in Stage 3," she said.  "But depending on how Stage 3 moves forward in different parts of the province, if we keep our numbers down, if there are no new outbreaks of COVID-19, then we will be able to gradually expand things like the size of gatherings for example."
That will be a gradual loosening of the health restrictions, still within Stage 3."

Ontario also extended the province's state of emergency on Monday until July 24.

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