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Ontario says its plan to ease restrictions introduced because of the COVID-19 pandemic will happen in three stages, though the steps unveiled Monday contain few specifics or timelines.
With recent modelling showing early signs that enhanced public health measures are working to stop the spread of the virus and flatten the curve, the government announced an outline of emergency measures and guiding principles for safe and responsible reopening of businesses through the "Framework for Reopening our Province".
Stage one in the framework published today could include opening select workplaces that can modify operations, such as providing curbside pickup or delivery; opening parks; allowing for more people at certain events such as funerals; and having hospitals resume some non-urgent surgeries.
Stage two could include opening more businesses, such as service, retail, or office workplaces; opening more outdoor spaces, and allowing some larger public gatherings.
Stage three would include having all workplaces open and further relaxing rules on public gatherings - though large ones such as sports events and concerts would still be restricted.
The framework says each of the three stages will last about two to four weeks, though it does not provide any specific dates.
At the end of each period, the chief medical officer could advise staying in that stage longer, moving onto the next stage, or reintroducing certain restrictions to prevent new outbreaks.
Government officials stated they will continue to work with public health officials and sectors to give employers guidance on how to operate safely in the current environment and keep employees safe.
READ MORE on the 'Framework for Reopening our Province'