Ontario extends emergency orders
Some outdoor recreational amenities reopening with restrictions
TORONTO — The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force until May 29.
This includes the closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery only, restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters. The government is also allowing drive-in religious gatherings.
On May 19, the province entered the first stage of its Framework for Reopening the Province. As part of this initial stage, the government is permitting the reopening of some outdoor recreational amenities, including outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, off-leash dog areas, and outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters in parks and recreational areas, effective May 19.
Outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, fitness equipment, public swimming pools, splash pads and similar outdoor water facilities will remain closed until later stages of the province’s reopening plan.
“Although we are entering the first stage of our framework to reopen the economy, it’s critical that we continue to do so in a safe and responsible manner,” said Premier Doug Ford in a prepared statement. “The people of Ontario have been doing a fantastic job to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of this terrible virus. With warmer weather beginning, individuals and families will now be able to enjoy many outdoor amenities, but everyone must continue to maintain physical distancing from those outside of their household.”
To ensure that individuals and families have safe access to outdoor spaces, experts stress the importance of maintaining physical distancing by staying two metres apart from anyone outside of their household, washing hands regularly, and staying home if feeling unwell.