Ford Says Allowing Outdoor Fitness & Haircuts In Grey Zones Is About To Be Decided
Ford told reporters that he and his cabinet will be meeting on Wednesday to decide if grey zone restrictions should change to allow for outdoor haircuts and outdoor fitness classes.
Which parts of Ontario are in the grey zone?
Out of Ontario’s 34 Public Health Units (PHUs), five are in the grey zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework.
Residents of Toronto, Peel, Thunder Bay District, Sudbury & District, and Lambton are all currently living under the province’s strictest restrictions.
What are Ontario’s current grey zone restrictions?
Ontario has recently changed several parts of its grey zone restrictions to make the zone less strict than it used to be.
For one, the province recently loosened grey zone restrictions to allow for outdoor dining , considering the lowered risk of COVID-19 transmission outdoors and the nicer weather.
Ontario also changed the gathering limit rules for funerals, weddings, and religious rites in a grey zone region.
But Ontarians who live in a grey zone cannot eat at a restaurant, get a haircut or go to a gym indoors.
And gathering indoors with anyone you don’t live with — if you don’t already live alone — is illegal in a grey zone.
Is it safe to do things outdoors in Ontario?
Ford acknowledged how nice it was to get outside while Ontario's spring weather continues, but he also urged vigilance while being outdoors, including staying 2 metres apart, washing hands, and wearing masks.
"I can't stress this enough. Please, we have to be cautious," Ford said. "Am I nervous about the third [wave] ? Absolutely I am. It concerns me 24-7."
Dr. Peter Jüni, an epidemiologist with Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, had similar advice for Narcity in a previous interview.
"There's a dramatic difference between inside and outside that's mostly related to ventilation," Jüni told Narcity. "Outside, the viruses literally get blown away!"
But he explained that distancing and mask-wearing are still of the utmost importance.
“What I see go wrong is that people take the mask as an excuse to come closer. This is nonsense," he said.”