Ontarians getting ready to head back to their favourite businesses might be waiting a little bit longer. Phase 2 of reopening Ontario is coming, but a new emergency orders extension might delay it. Residents of the province could be waiting until June 19.

In a June 6 news release, the Ontario Government made it clear that all emergency orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act would remain in place until the nineteenth. They were previously set to expire on June 9.

That means that businesses will continue to operate the way they have been for the last few weeks. 

Restaurants and bars will remain closed, but can continue to offer takeout and delivery.

Similarly, non-essential businesses will also have to remain closed, but stores with street entrances can provide curbside pickup or delivery.

The extension of the order also means that theatres, cinemas (with the exception of drive-in theatres), public libraries, and recreation facilities will stay shuttered until June 19.

Gatherings of more than five people will also remain prohibited during this extension.

Private schools in the province, as well as the majority of childcare facilities, will also have to stay closed until the nineteenth (with some exceptions for children of essential workers).

"It is critical that we keep these emergency orders in place so we can continue to reopen the province gradually and safely," Premier Doug Ford said in a statement.

"We are not out of the woods yet, and this deadly virus still poses a serious risk. We encourage businesses to begin preparing to reopen, so when the time comes, they will be able to protect employees, consumers and the general public."

Ford had previously said that phase two of reopening could begin "very soon" during a June 5 press briefing.

There had also been talk of raising the limit of people in social gatherings from five to 10, although that won't be happening now at least until the emergency orders end.

The province's official state of emergency was also extended until the end of the month.

*Cover photo used for illustrative purposes.

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