Ford Says Ontario Can Reach Stage 3 This Month But Large Events Are Still Out
Parts of the province still haven't moved onto stage two but Premier Doug Ford's already talking about stage three. On July 3, Ford teased that stage 3 in Ontario could come as soon as later this month. However, he stressed that large events are still going to be off the table for a while yet, even when that happens.
Ford answered questions on Friday about the province's potential timeline for completing its reopening.
He couldn't go into specifics and there is still no set date for when stage three could come into effect, but he did tease that a reporter's suggestion of late July is "pretty close."
"You're pretty close with the end of July, I just don't have the crystal ball, I can't give you an exact date," he said.
According to Ford, when stage three finally arrives, it means virtually all businesses will be able to reopen.
One category that's not coming back to the table for a while yet, though, is large events.
"Everything except large, large venues," Ford continued.
"Be it the Blue Jays game, we can't have 50,000 people, rock concerts, any concerts, hockey games, and so forth. But most all businesses will be able to reopen," explained Ford.
For now, the majority of Ontario remains in stage two, with Toronto and Peel region having only reached that step last week.
As always at his briefing, Ford also stressed that a cautious approach is required so Ontario doesn't end up anything like Florida or other U.S. states which have suffered a surge in new cases during their reopening.
"We're leading North America with the lowest cases for any jurisdiction our size... When everyone opens up, we're gonna go full steam ahead with the economy," he added.
Ford's talk of the Blue Jays is interesting, considering the team is already on its way back to the 6ix to hold training camp at the Rogers Centre in preparation for their shortened MLB season, slated to start July 23 or 24.
Toronto is also reportedly one of two hub cities for the NHL as its season gears up to resume.
This sounds like amazing news for Maple Leafs fans, but it certainly doesn't sound like we'll be able to enjoy sports the way we used to any time soon.
In Toronto, large gatherings have been banned until July 31. However, for massive festivals and events with 25,000 or more people, that ban extends another month, until August 31.