Another step in the recovery process for Ontario! In the May 14 daily briefing on Ontario's reopening plan, Premier Doug Ford announced that places including campgrounds, marinas, and golf courses can reopen starting this weekend. He also added that "stage one" of the recovery now officially begins on Tuesday, May 19.
Ford delivered the update during the latest Ontario news conference on Thursday afternoon, May 14.
He had said earlier this week that he would announce more details today as the province apparently moves into "stage one" of its reopening process.
The premier also gave more information on exactly what that entails.
The headline is that a lot more will be open in the province by this time next week.
As of Saturday at 12:01 a.m., private parks, campgrounds, marinas, boat clubs, and golf courses can reopen under certain conditions, said Ford.
Then, on Tuesday, May 19, the revised start date for "stage one," retail stores with street entrances will be allowed to reopen province-wide, albeit with strict measures in place.
Other loosened restrictions coming from next Tuesday include resuming remaining construction projects, reinstalling seasonal activities, and reopening some other health care services, as outlined in a provincial news release.
Outdoor recreational activities, which include sports, will also be allowed to resume from Tuesday, as long as they can be played without spectators and in line with physical distancing measures.
That doesn't mean, for example, that those massive games of cricket are suddenly OK again.
Also, limited pet services can start up again on Tuesday as well as "indoor and outdoor household services."
This update comes with the standard warning, though.
"Businesses should open only if they are ready and we need to keep in mind that all of this is based on the numbers," Ford said.
"We cannot let our guard down now."
This latest update in the plan comes despite Ontario's Chief Medical Officer declaring earlier this week that Ford is premature in suggesting the province is ready to further loosen restrictions.
Ford noted on Thursday there is currently "no timeframe" for when the next stage of the process may be able to begin.
Ontario announced today that it will now be testing anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, not just those at high risk.
The province's daily update earlier announced the smallest increase in new cases since March.