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Hair cuts, beach walks, shopping and church among Stage 2 openings Friday

Picton’s splash pad among the many allowed to re-open Friday – with strict adherence to physical distancing.

Hair cuts, beach access, some camping, outdoor patios, shopping malls, churches and social gatherings of 10 people are among the many included in Stage 2 of re-opening the province, implemented to help curb the spred of COVID-19.

Premier Doug Ford, in his daily briefing Monday, announced the easing of restrictions in communities where it is safe to do so, based on key public health indicators such as lower rates of transmission, increased capacity in hospitals, and progress made in testing.

Effective Friday, June 12, the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity.

Ford also announced Ontario will ban commercial evictions starting June 3 until the end of August as business owners struggle with getting back to business from the pandemic.

Public health unit regions not allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday include Durham, York, Toronto, Peel, Halton, Hamilton and Niagara, border regions Windsor-Essex and Lambton, as well as Haldimand-Norfolk. Twenty-four on Ontario’s 34 public health units will be allowed to move into Stage 2 – including Hastings Prince Edward Counties Public Health.

“We are able to make this announcement today because of the extraordinary effort of our frontline workers and every other person in the province who helped to stop the spread of this deadly virus,” said Ford. “Entering Stage 2 means parts of the province will see more people back on the job and an opportunity to get back together with friends and family. Although this is extremely encouraging, I urge everyone to exercise caution and continue to follow public health advice as we are not out of the woods yet.”

Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:

– Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
– Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
– Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
– Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
– Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
– Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
– Camping at private campgrounds;
– Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
– Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, co ncerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
– Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
– Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.

As more people return to work, the services they rely on will need to be available regardless of the stage a region is in. The province will soon release more details on child care,
summer camps, post-secondary education pilots to help people graduate, training centres and public transit.

At the beginning of each week, the government will provide an update on the ongoing assessment of these regions, and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2 at the end of the week.

Everyone, regardless of where they live in the province, must continue to follow public health advice, including to practise physical distancing, wear a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.

For questions about what is currently able to open during Stage 1, or what will be open or impacts to your business or employment in Stage 2, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659 or click here.

Visit to learn how you can provide your feedback on the impacts of COVID-19 on personal finances, business supports and government relief measures.

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  1. Jack Smith says:

    There is a lot of fear and panic of a re-opening. a lot of visitors to the County aren’t abiding by the rules. Safe distancing, lying that they are not together so both can go into the store and see them later shopping or holding hands. You confront them and they get mad and leave the store. That is why the stores have the rules. If yo can’t abide by the rules stay home, further more buy your supplies before you come to the County so we don’t have to be subjected to someone having COVID. Toronto and Quebec are high risks to the County, also the U.S.A. I have and will continue to report any outsider that I see that is not abiding by the rules.

  2. Bruce Nicholson says:

    Right on the mark, Susan ! I have started to see empty retail locations as entrepreneurs have not been able to survive the loss of income from mandatory closures. I hear serious concerns from the business owners about making ends meet and the effect on their families. COVID-19 is here and we have to deal with it in a safe and logical way.

  3. Susan says:

    There is no reason to cause fear or panic with the reopening. The economy needs to get rolling or we will be hurt badly.We cannot hide from the virus forever and expect a quality of life. If businesses close up, we will see property tax increases beyond belief. Most people practice common sense and that will assist us moving forward.

  4. Dennis Fox says:

    I find it interesting that the arguments on how to best deal with a disease/virus is being discussed in terms of what is good for business. I don’t understand that thinking, but as someone did point out, it is happening everywhere. This disease is still out there – I hope everyone will be safe.

    BTW – at no time did Karl Marx ever define communism as government being in control of either people or business. This concept is the creation of greedy capitalist who wanted to profiteer at the expense of their workers. Maybe it is time we listen to the people who we have asked to work during this pandemic, as to what they want to do?

  5. Angela says:

    Bravo, Jack Smith. Pressure has been brought to bear by those who make a killing in the tourist season and now we are wide open to Toronto and Quebec. It would be different if we were not a tourist destination and the traffic were at a normal level. Opening B and B’s seems ridiculous when we still have to keep six feet apart in stores and other public places. How do the B and B operators propose to practise social distancing while serving breakfasts? Do the guests wear masks when they eat? I don’t think anyone’s life is worth a walk on the beach or a weekend at a B and B. There is a huge difference between living in a community where summer traffic is pretty much confined to the locals and a limited number of visitors. The county is more vulnerable and precautions should be greater here.

  6. Jack Smith says:

    I think it is the most dangerous thing to do. I work at a local store and not only is my life at risk everyday but also my co-workers. I don’t think certain people give a care about the local’s, it’s all about bringing money into the County. I would rather have my life then be dead because of some people’s stupidity. Rumors are that a bunch are going to get together and block every entrance into the County. I hope this happens. And in closing I don’t want to hear if we don’t open it will hurt our economy. Some of you need to go to where I work than you would understand.

  7. Justin says:

    The self isolation our government had requested for us wasn’t to stop the virus, it was to slow it’s spread. This isn’t something that is going away especially with several countries who are ignoring social distancing altogether. It’s something that we need to learn to live with until we can find a better with to live with either with treatments or cure, but until then we need any people to start spending money. Unless we change to a communist system and allow our government full control over us and our economy. We need to open things up like Chuck had said, otherwise we will have no economy to go back to!!

  8. JB says:

    This is not just Ford opening Ontario. All jurisdictions around the world are re-opening. They aren’t all shortsighted as some suggest. In fact, Ontario has been more cautious than many. This has always been about controlling the virus not reducing it to near zero. As with all things in life, this is about balancing the control of the virus with the need for human connections, the economy, mental health, etc.

  9. angela says:

    What is the point of opening too early and inviting visitors from Toronto and Quebec, two hot spots for the virus, into a community with a very low incidence of it? A second wave will only force another shut-down. Only five people, (now I believe it is 10), can attend a funeral but hundreds can gather on Picton’s Main Street for the recent Black Lives Matter protest. Where is the logic in this? We seem to be making up the rules as we go along.

  10. Chuck says:

    If they do not attempt to reopen there will be no economy to support our needs. You can only borrow so much and prop up folks with dollars for no work. Waiting longer could destroy local business and employment.

  11. Dennis Fox says:

    Sorry, I don’t want to rain on this parade, but I just read an article on the CBC site about how Premier Doug Ford claims to be basing his decisions to reopen on “expert” advice – but cannot name the experts!! Even worse, the real experts are questioning the rush to reopen. It appears to be more motivated by money, than by science.

    If you stop and think about this “regional” approach to reopening – none of it makes sense. People from high COVID19 areas will vacation in low COVID areas – potentially spreading the disease. I sincerely hope that this summer turns out to be a good one for all, but if we end up back where we started by September, then our government has been totally irresponsible.

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