No firm timeline or date was released by Ontario Premier Doug Ford for the provinces third stage of reopening the economy which will be the final stage. Ford noted that he doesn’t “have a crystal ball” and doesn’t want to see spikes in coronavirus cases similar to that of some US States, reports CP24.
“Since it’s going to be the last stage we want to make sure our t’s are crossed and I’s are dotted,” Premier Ford noted on Friday.
Much of Ontario has been in Stage 2 of reopening for three weeks now. This stage permits outdoor dining, the reopening of shopping malls and public pools and more, though Toronto and Peel Region have spent less than two weeks in the stage.
Ford also suggested the possibility of entering Stage 3 later in the month.
“You’re pretty close . . . to the end of July – I just don’t have a crystal ball, I can’t give you an exact date,” he said. “We‘re doing everything we can, we're moving responsibly – we’re leading North America for the number of cases for any jurisdiction our size.”
In Stage 3, services such as fitness studios and gyms, indoor dining, movie theatres and bars may be resumed.
In Ontario, roughly 100 to 200 coronavirus cases have been reported per day for most of the last three weeks. At least 20,000 people are now tested in the province per day.
Some of the southern states in the U.S. have fully reopened much of their economy including bars and nightclubs and are seeing around 5,000 to 10,000 new cases daily.
“You see what’s happening south of the border, we don’t want that to happen here,” Ford said.
Ontario also still has to integrate data collection systems between Public Health Ontario and the local public health units which may take the majority of the summer.
“We’ll get there very shortly – it’s in front of the (health) committee then it will go to the health table and the health table will get a final call on it,” Ford noted.
He added that in Stage 3, the province will continue to ban mass public gatherings including professional sports games and large concerts though most businesses will be able to reopen.