The Ford government announced that it will allow Toronto and Peel Region to enter stage 3 of the coronavirus reopening process on Friday, according to CP24.
Stage 3 of Ontario's reopening process means that indoor dining and indoor fitness facilities will be permitted.
Ford said on Wednesday that "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."
"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."
Ford's words come as Windsor-Essex will have to remain in stage two due to major outbreaks of the virus in agribusinesses and farms, CP24 reported.
Provincial officials said that the "government continues to address the needs of the regions," adding that the "deployment of mobile testing units and adoption of new public health guidance for positive asymptomatic workers for all workplaces."
Epidemiologist Dr. Isaac Bogoch said of Toronto and Peel that "this is one of the first times that the case numbers in the GTA were lower than in the rest of Ontario," noting that these two areas cannot "stand here in stage two forever and I think it's time to move forward."
Ford is expected to make an announcement on the change at 1 p.m. at Queen's Park, being joined by Minister of Long-Term Care, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton.
Mayor John Tory said that "it seems like a long way from the scary days of the winter when we were having our meetings at the beginning of the pandemic and hearing numbers that were almost incomprehensible," and that "it's taken a long time and a lot of sacrifice but I think it's also fair to say now the really hard work begins," concluding that "there's only one direction to go and you don't want to go in that direction but there is only one direction."
Tory qualified the entering of Stage 3 with suggesting limited indoor capacity at venues, along with table sizes and restaurants and bars. Patrons will also be asked to remain seated at their tables unless they are using the restroom or paying.