The Ontario government says Toronto and Peel Region can finally move into Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan starting Friday, July 31, at 12:01 a.m.
In a press release issued Wednesday morning, government officials said the decision was based on positive local trends such as lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.
Toronto and Peel Region will join the 31 public health units in Ontario that entered Stage 3 on July 17 and 24.
Windsor-Essex, the final region in Ontario, will remain in Stage 2.
The Ontario government said it will continue to monitor local trends in the region and move it into the next stage “when it is safe to do so.”
“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,” Premier Doug Ford said 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.”
As part of Stage 3, indoor dining (except for buffet operations) will be allowed to resume at restaurants and bars.
— With files from Global News’ Ryan Rocca.
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