Premier Ford said on Tuesday morning that Toronto, Peel, and York could remain in the grey-lockdown zone come February 22.
In an interview with Breakfast Television, Ford said that he wouldn't call this reopening but "transitioning," and loosening restrictions in these areas will be a slow and steady process.
I'm always concerned about the third wave, again, we have to be cautious.
Premier Doug Ford
"We're going to be consulting with the Chief Medical Officer and the local medical officers of the three regions to determine if they want to continue moving forward and if they don't, they're still going to be in the grey-lockdown."
The grey-lockdown zone allows only retail stores to be open with capacity being restricted by 75%.
Ford says this transition will be nothing like the "full-blown reopening" that happened in September.
Today, schools reopened for in-person learning in these regions. The premier said that asymptomatic testing will be provided at 40 different schools each week, with 50,000 tests available.
"If we need to ramp that up even further, we'll ramp it up," he said.
Currently, the spread of several variants of concern has led experts to worry about the possibility of a third wave.
Ford admitted to Breakfast Television that while he's worried about a potential third wave, he'll continue to consult with the experts and take their advice.
This comes as 27 public health regions move out of the stay-at-home order today and into colour zones with fewer restrictions.