Ontario's Reopening Plan Is Way Different This Time Around & Here's What You Need To Know

Here's the lowdown on dates, restrictions, and rules.
Ontario's Reopening Plan Is A Lot Different This Time Around & Here's What You Should Know

Doug Ford announced today that Ontario's reopening will start happening as early as Wednesday.

But reopening will look a lot different depending on where in the province you are.

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When does the Ontario stay-at-home order end?

It depends where you are in the province. 

If you're in the Public Health Units (PHUs) of Hastings Prince Edward, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington, or Renfrew County, then the stay-at-home order ends at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, February 10.

If you're in Toronto, Peel or York, then you'll have to wait for two more weeks — your stay-at-home order ends on Monday, February 22.

And if you're anywhere else in the province, then the stay-at-home order is set to expire for you on Tuesday, February 16.

What happens when the stay-at-home order ends?

The last time Ontario came out of a lockdown, it did so in "stages."

This time, Ontario will be going back to its "colour zones," a tiered system that started in November 2020.

The three PHUs that open back up on February 10 will be put back into the green zone, with the fewest amount of COVID-19 restrictions.

The government has not announced which zones the other PHUs will go into when the stay-at-home order ends.

But Ford said today the government has an "emergency brake" in place in case Ontario's numbers start sky-rocketing again.

The province can move any part of Ontario into the grey zone — with the harshest restrictions possible — if a region experiences "rapid acceleration in COVID-19 transmission" or its hospitals start to get overwhelmed.

What are the rules for each colour zone?

The restrictions for each colour zone are different than they were when they were first announced. 

Non-essential retail stores will be open in every zone, though with varying capacity limits depending on which colour the region is in.

Non-essential retailers in a grey zone — including big box stores — will have a 25% capacity limit, for instance, while the same stores in a green zone will have no capacity limits.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores will stay open, with different capacity limits as well.

Indoor malls are open in all zones, but shopping centres in the grey, red and orange zones will have to screen each customer coming inside and ask if they're feeling sick or if they've travelled outside of the country recently. 

And masks and physical distancing are required no matter where you are in the province.

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