It’s official: Toronto has (finally) been granted permission to enter Stage 3 of the province’s gradual reopening of the economy.
As of Friday, July 31 at 12:01 am, the City of Toronto, along with Peel Region, will begin Stage 3, leaving Windsor-Essex as the only region in Ontario remaining in Stage 2.
Premier Doug Ford made the highly anticipated announcement on Wednesday morning and said the decision was made based on “positive local trends of key public health indicators,” which include lower transmission of the virus, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity for rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing, according to officials.
As part of Stage 3, indoor dining can resume at bars and restaurants, while gyms and playgrounds are just some of the anticipated businesses and facilities allowed to reopen in Toronto.
In this stage, outdoor gathering limits have also been increased to a maximum of 100 people, while indoor gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted. However, physical distancing is still required during any gathering with people from outside an individual’s social circle.
Here’s everything you need to know about what can and can’t open as part of Stage 3 in Toronto.
Casinos and charitable gaming establishments
- Casinos and charitable gaming establishments are subject to gathering limits and physical distancing measures, which apply to the entire facility.
- Staff do not count towards gathering limits.
- Any equipment being used by patrons, including slot machines and electronic gaming machines, must be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary environment.
- Table games must remain closed.
Convention centres, meeting and event spaces
- Convention centres, meeting and event spaces are subject to physical distancing measures and gathering limits, which apply to the entire facility.
Facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities
- Examples of facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities include gyms, fitness studios, and community centres.
- Physical distancing must be maintained, except if playing a team sport or as needed for personal training.
- The total number of people permitted in areas containing weights or exercise machines is limited to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least two metres, which cannot exceed the indoor gathering limit of 50 people.
- The total number people permitted in classes or organized activities at any one time is limited to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least two metres, and cannot exceed the indoor gathering limit of 50 people or the outdoor limit of 100.
- Assigned spaces are strongly recommended for organized fitness classes (e.g., by marking circles on the floor to designate where each person should exercise).
- Gathering limits do not apply in all other areas (e.g., pools, tennis courts and rinks).
- Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between user sets or at the end of a game.
- Any washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities made available to the public must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
- Steam rooms and saunas are not yet permitted to open.
- Fitting rooms at retail settings were permitted to reopen with restrictions in Stage 1 and Stage 2.
- All fitting rooms may reopen, as long as patrons are not permitted to occupy adjacent fitting room stalls at any one time.
- Cleaning and disinfection between fitting room customers should continue.
Interactive exhibits at museums, attractions and heritage institutions
- Attractions and heritage institutions, including museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites and similar attractions were permitted to reopen in Stage 2.
- In addition to the exhibits opened in Stage 2, high-contact surfaces such as interactive exhibits and displays may open. They must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
- All special events, instructional classes and performances at these locations are subject to gathering limits and physical distancing measures.
- Libraries were permitted to resume limited on-site services in Stage 2.
- In addition to the services resumed in Stage 2, libraries may reopen for all on-site services, as long as materials that are circulated, returned or accessed within the library are disinfected or quarantined before being recirculated.
Live shows, performing arts and movie theatres
Concerts, artistic events, theatrical productions, performances, and movie theatres may resume operations, including rehearsals, with the following restrictions:
- Performers must maintain physical distancing of two metres from every other person, except from other performers where necessary for purposes of the performance.
- Audiences are subject to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least two metres and cannot exceed gathering limits of 50 indoors and 100 outdoors. This applies to the entire facility, regardless of the number of theatres or performance stages within the facility.
- Performers and staff are not included in the gathering limits.
- Plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier is required between the audience and singers as well as players of brass or wind instruments.
- Drive-in and drive-through venues, as permitted in Stage 2, are not subject to gathering limits.
- Concessions stands at drive-through venues may be accessed in-person or by drive‑through or delivery to vehicles.
Personal care services
- Personal care services, including but not limited to hair salons, spas, tanning salons, tattoo studios, diet centres and beauty salons, were permitted to open in Stage 2.
- In addition to the services permitted in Stage 2, all services that tend to a customer’s face are permitted (e.g., facials, ear piercing, eyebrow grooming and eyelash extensions).
- Patrons must wear face coverings except while receiving services on an area of their face that would otherwise be covered by a face covering.
- Workers must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Personal care services must take measures to enable physical distancing between patrons, such as limiting the number of people who may be in the business at any one time.
- Businesses should consider operating by appointment wherever possible.
- Businesses should also consider recording each patron’s name and contact information to support effective contact tracing in case of an outbreak.
- Oxygen bars, bath houses, steam rooms and saunas are not yet permitted to open.
Playgrounds and play structures
- Outdoor playgrounds and play structures are permitted to reopen in Stage 3.
- Physical distancing of at least two metres must be in place at all indoor playgrounds and play structures, except between individuals from the same household or social circle.
Recreational courses and instruction
- Examples of recreational courses and instruction include music lessons, language classes, tutoring and art classes.
- All instructional classes are subject to gathering limits.
- Physical distancing must be in place for participants, other than when necessary for instruction. Face coverings are recommended in those situations.
- Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
- Plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier and physical distancing are required for any instruction that involves singing or playing wind or brass instruments.
Recreational attractions and businesses
- In Stage 2, outdoor recreational facilities that operate low-contact attractions and activities were allowed to reopen. Indoor recreational activities can resume in Stage 3.
- Examples of indoor recreational facilities and attractions include arcade rooms, escape rooms, bowling alleys, and pool halls.
- Physical distancing of at least two metres must be in place.
- Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
- Karaoke is permitted only outside of private karaoke rooms, which are not yet able to open in Stage 3, with restrictions including barriers, physical distancing and increased cleaning and disinfecting.
Restaurants, bars and nightclubs
- All restaurants, bars, concession stands, and other food and drink establishments may open for indoor dine-in.
- Nightclubs are not yet safe to open, except for the purpose of serving food or drinks to patrons in accordance with the conditions that apply to restaurants and bars.
- All patrons must be seated when eating or drinking at the establishment.
- Establishments must take appropriate measures to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres between patrons from different tables, unless separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
- Buffet-style service is not yet permitted in Stage 3.
- Singing or music may be performed by a person or group at the restaurant or bar, with restrictions, including barriers between the performers and patrons and physical distancing. Dancing may only be performed by someone working at the establishment with restrictions.
- Karaoke is permitted only outside of private karaoke rooms, which are not yet permitted to open in Stage 3, with restrictions including barriers, physical distancing and increased cleaning and disinfecting.
- Physical distancing of two metres between patrons from different households or social circles also continues to apply to food trucks, food courts, concession stands and tours, including tastings at wineries, breweries and distilleries.
Team sports and live sporting events
- Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports is not permitted.
- Team sports in which body contact between players is either an integral component of the sport or commonly occurs while engaged in the sport (e.g., wrestling, judo) are not yet permitted, unless the approach can be modified to prevent prolonged or deliberate physical contact.
- Amateur and recreational sports leagues may resume so long as they do not allow prolonged or deliberate physical contact between players or if they have modifications to avoid physical contact between players.
- Leagues must contain no more than 50 participants total. If participants in a league exceed 50, the league may divide into smaller groups of no more than 50. Players are not yet permitted to play against players outside of their league or group.
- Spectators at all sporting events, including professional sports, will be subject to gathering limits and physical distancing measures, with assigned seating where possible.
Tour and guide services
- For tour and guide services, including boat tours, the number of patrons is subject to gathering limits.
- Physical distancing of at least two metres must be maintained between all individuals, except for those from the same household or social circle.
- The outdoor gathering limit of 100 applies if patrons will be outside for the duration of the tour except to access washrooms, in transit to an outdoor area, or for health and safety reasons.
- As with other gatherings and events, the indoor gathering limit of 50 applies if the gathering is fully or partially indoors.
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) July 29, 2020
What still can’t open in Stage 3?
The government has banned a number of high-risk businesses and activities from resuming in Stage 3, including amusement parks, water parks, buffet-style food services, dancing in restaurants and bars, overnight stays at camps for children, private karaoke rooms, prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports, saunas, steam rooms, bathhouses and oxygen bars.
Nightclubs are still banned from reopening, except for the purpose of serving food or drinks. While casinos are allowed to reopen, table games are banned.