Getting to golf and enter shoe stores again must be nice for people who are into those things, but most Ontarians are more eager to get to the next stage of reopening — the one that will hopefully let us see our friends, get our hair done and chill on patios while enjoying cold beverages sometime this summer.
Details for Stage 2 of the province’s economic reopening plan have yet to be confirmed. No timeline has been set for when the next stage will begin, and nobody yet knows if the restrictions lifted will vary from region to region.
What we do know, per Premier Doug Ford, is that yesterday’s month-long state of emergency extension will not impede the reopening process, and that we’ve now been in Stage 1 for more than two weeks.
“I just want to be clear, first of all, with the state of emergency, that’s not going to slow us from moving forward, getting the economy going, moving forward with Stage 2,” said Ford when asked during his daily pandemic press conference on Wednesday if Ontario is ready to enter Stage 2.
“It’s in front of the health table right now and hopefully, over the next week, we’ll be able to discuss that with the people of Ontario.”
Ford was then asked specifically when he expects that restaurants will be allowed to reopen their patios again, as they have in some other parts of the country.
“Well that’s one of the areas we’re looking at with the regional opening,” Ford replied. “I know a lot of people in rural areas want that.”
Ford said that the COVID-19 command table is currently looking at whether to reopen restaurant patios in Ontario and that “they’ll make those health decisions within the week.”
So, regardless of whether or not the province lets restaurants reopen their patios before our brief, so-far horrible summer ends, and regardless of whether or not the rules will apply to places with high case counts like Toronto, we’ll know about it soon.