Parts of Ontario given green light to reopen patios, beaches and parks on Friday

Simcoe Muskoka among the regions allowed to enter Stage 2 on Friday

The Ontario government is moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening the economy.

Restaurant patios, hair salons, beaches and provincial parks can reopen in some regions as of Friday, June 12.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Monday from Queen’s Park.

“The current limit on social gatherings will go up from five to 10 people, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2,” Ford said.

“Although this is extremely encouraging, I urge everyone to exercise caution and continue to follow public health advice as we are not out of the woods yet,” Ford said.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams said officials are looking at new guidelines on expanding family bubbles “in the very near future.”

If you’re gathering with people from outside your own household, Dr. Williams said the guideline is to stay physically distanced at least six feet apart.

All places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place.

Restaurants can reopen their patios

Restaurants, bars, food trucks, wineries, breweries and distilleries can open for dining in outdoor areas only, such as patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent premises.

Restaurants in Simcoe Muskoka can reopen patios on Friday, June 12.
Restaurants in Simcoe Muskoka can reopen patios on Friday, June 12.

There are physical distancing requirements establishments need to follow, like the spacing out of patrons. Those with a liquor license can also temporarily extend the physical size of an existing licensed patio.

Personal Care Services

Barbershops, tattoo parlours and hair salons can now reopen their doors. Stage 2 permits beauticians, estheticians, cosmetology shops, manicure and pedicure salons, hair removal services, day spas and tanning salons to all reopen.

You can now get a haircut as hair salons and barbershops get the green light to reopen in Simcoe Muskoka
You can now get a haircut as hair salons and barbershops get the green light to reopen in Simcoe Muskoka

Health officials said personal care service providers should ensure patrons wear face coverings at all times, if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Workers also need to wear face coverings and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves.

The province is prohibiting services that tend to a customer’s face, such as facials, facial hair grooming, eyebrow grooming and makeup, as well as oxygen bars.

Steam rooms, saunas and bathhouses must also remain closed.

Outdoor splash pads and pools

Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools are allowed to reopen in selected regions of Ontario, including Simcoe and Muskoka.

Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;

Public pools, as well as pools situated in hotels, motels, condo parks, resorts and other private facilities can reopen.

However, waterparks, wave pools and water slides will not be permitted to reopen in Stage 2.

Change rooms and showers will be available to the public if operators can adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities.

Aquatic activities such as fitness classes and swim lessons must be in line with physical distancing measures. For example, only other household members can assist swimmers with physical contact.

Parks and beaches allowed to reopen

In Stage 1, Ontario Parks opened limited backcountry camping including paddle and portage routes, access points and hiking trails.

In Stage 2, Ontario Parks campgrounds and private campgrounds can also open for recreational vehicle, car camping and all other types of camping.

Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks allowed to resume in stage 2 in certain regions
Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks allowed to resume in Stage 2 in certain regions

Campers must adhere to social gathering size restrictions and maintain two-metre physical distancing with people outside their household and when outside of their campsites.

Beach access at Ontario Parks will be permitted as part of Ontario Parks gradual reopening, although measures including limited capacity will be taken at some parks to enable physical distancing.

Shopping malls

In addition to providing online, curbside pickup and delivery services, all shopping centres, malls and markets may open. Stores in these facilities must follow the same guidance as those set out for other retail services.

Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only can reopen in stage 2

Food services and restaurants with mall-only entrances may open for outdoor dining spaces, delivery and takeout.

Malls will be permitted to limit the number of people who may be in one business at any one time.

They will also have to restrict fitting room access and implement a cleaning process between fitting room customers.

You may also be screened for COVID-19 symptoms at shopping malls.

Outdoor recreation and team sports

Outdoor team sports may resume, if physically distanced, for training only and with no scrimmages or games.

 Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports can resume on Friday.
Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports can resume on Friday.

Outdoor-only recreational facilities that operate low-contact attractions and activities will be allowed to reopen.

This includes paintball, mini-golf, archery ranges, go-cart tracks and other adventure activities.

Amusement parks and waterparks (including those attached to hotels) will remain closed.

Playgrounds, play structures and outdoor fitness equipment will remain closed.

You can find the complete Stage 2 reopening list here

The regions allowed to enter Stage 2 on Friday

  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Algoma Public Health
  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
  • Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

Ontario to ban commercial rent evictions

Premier Ford also announced that Ontario will ban commercial evictions starting retroactive to June 3 until the end of August.

Ford said the moratorium applies to small businesses who qualify for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program.