Ontario allows Toronto and Peel Region to begin reopening on Monday as regions move into the grey zone

TORONTO — Ontario has announced Toronto and Peel Region will move into the grey zone of the province’s COVID-19 reopening framework Monday, lifting the stay-at-home order and allowing some businesses to open their doors for the first time since last November.

The Ford government made the announcement on Friday, saying that the stay-at-home order will expire at midnight on Sunday. 

North Bay Parry Sound District, which also sees its stay-at-home order lift, will join the framework in the red level.

In addition, based on the latest data, the government said seven other public health regions will also be moving to the following levels:

Red-Control

  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit.

Orange-Restrict

  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit.

Yellow-Protect

  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit.

What can reopen in Toronto and Peel Region?

Under the grey zone, in-person shopping is permitted for retail stores with stringent capacity limits. Essential stores like supermarkets and pharmacies have a 50 per cent capacity limit in this stage, while all other stores have a 25 per cent capacity limit.

In this stage, 10 people are allowed to gather outdoors but two metres distance needs to be maintained. Masks are strongly recommended when outside. 

Outdoor recreational amenities, including ice rinks, ski hills and snow trails are allowed to open with restrictions. 

All other restrictions from the four other stages will continue in the grey-lockdown phase. 

The government extended the stay-at-home order for Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay two weeks ago due to high COVID-19 case numbers.

Restrictions loosened in the rest of the province last month as regions moved back to the government’s colour-coded pandemic response framework.

Top doctors in Toronto and Peel recommended this week that their regions move into the grey-lockdown zone of the framework.

The province’s chief medical officer says he’s concerned about test positivity rates and more infectious variants in those regions, and that the reopening must be cautious.

This is a developing news story. More information to come.  

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