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Toronto, Peel Region join most of Ontario in Stage 3 of reopening today

Last Updated Jul 31, 2020 at 6:41 pm EDT

People in Toronto and Peel Region can eat inside a restaurant and catch a movie in a theatre starting today, though they still have to follow physical distancing rules and other health measures.

The two areas are joining most of Ontario in Stage 3 of its economic recovery, which allows most businesses and public spaces to reopen.

People are now allowed to expand their social gatherings to 50 while indoors and up to 100 are now permitted to gather outdoors. City bylaws on physical distancing remain in parks and squares as do mandatory face covering bylaws for all indoor public spaces.

More than 800 playgrounds and play structures, community and recreation centres as well as libraries are now open. Outdoor playground equipment will not be sanitized and parents are reminded to keep their children two metres apart from others when possible.

Toronto city council has also enacted a series of additional health measures beyond those set by the province in preparation for restaurant and bar openings. These include:

  • Maintaining at least two metres between groups of people and no more than 10 people at a table.
  • Masks must be worn at all times when not eating or drinking.
  • Guests must remain seated while eating or drinking except to enter, exit, paying their bill or going to the bathroom.
  • At least one guest from each group must give the bar or restaurant contact information
  • No dancing and no buffet-style food service

Sports facilities are allowed to open but team sports can only be played without physical contact or they must be modified to avoid physical contact. Organized team sport leagues are limited to 50 players and only 50 spectators are allowed to attend indoor sporting events while that number increases to 100 at an outdoor facility.

Fitness clubs can reopen but with physical distancing rules and no more than 50 people allowed inside a facility. Class space is limited to how many people can safely participate while maintaining a two metre gap. All equipment must be sanitized between use but steam rooms and saunas remain off limits for the time being. Face coverings or masks can be taken off during exercise but they must be worn when using other areas of the facility.

Windsor-Essex is now the only area still in Stage 2, with health officials saying they want more data before further loosening restrictions.

The region has been grappling with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks on farms and said earlier this week that numbers have been on the rise in the city of Windsor.