London region included in Stage 3: Most businesses can reopen Friday
LONDON, ONT -- Starting on Friday, nearly all London-area businesses will be allowed to reopen, including gyms, movie theatres and in-restaurant dining.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford revealed the province’s plans for moving into Stage 3 of it’s reopening plan Monday.
Regions not included in the reopening are the Toronto area, as well as Sarnia-Lambton, Haldimand-Norfolk and Windsor-Essex, among a few others.
London was one of the first regions to enter Stage 2 when it was announced.
Over the past week the region served by the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) has seen a decline in numbers, including a three-day stretch where no new cases were reported.
What kind of businesses can reopen in Stage 3?
According to government’s framework set out in April almost all businesses will be able to open in some capacity during Stage 3.
Movie theatres, gyms, casinos, indoor dining and bars can all open with some special measures in place:
- Table games at casinos are banned.
- Restaurants, bars, concession stands, etc. are allowed to reopen for indoor dining, but nightclubs are still banned except for serving food or drinks.
- No dancing is allowed for patrons, but musical performances can resume.
- Gyms and fitness studios can reopen with safety protocols in place.
- Organized sports can resume, except for contact sports.
Playgrounds, community centres and libraries will also reopen, along with interactive museum and gallery exhibits.
CTV News has learned that work is already being done at London-area movie theatres to prepare for reopening.
Some high-risk businesses, including amusement parks, buffet restaurants and overnight camps, will not yet reopen. Concerts and sporting events are also still prohibited.
The full list of businesses that can reopen is here.
Other changes in Stage 3
Also in Stage 3, the maximum number of people allowed at an indoor gathering climbs to 50 from 10, while outdoor gatherings rise to 100 people.
Physical distancing must still be maintained with those outside someone's social circle, and those limitations have not changed, with only 10 people allowed to interact without physical distancing.
Whilt the total number of people allowed goes up, religious, wedding or funeral services must continue to fill only 30 percent of a venue's capacity.
In addition to organized gatherings, these caps also apply at casinos, bingo halls, performances, convention centres, theatres and sports facilities like gyms.
The government will monitor COVID-19 cases and has warned that restrictions could be tightened again if necessary.
All the Stage 3 reopening details are available on the province's website.