Premier Doug Ford announced that seven more regions will be able to enter into Stage 3 this Friday. However, Toronto, Peel, and Windsor-Essex will not be included and will remain in Stage 2.
According to the province, the decision to keep the three regions in Stage 2 was made due to a continual spike in coronavirus cases.
The following are the regions in the province that are expected to be able to enter Stage 3 on Friday, July 24 at 12:01 am:
"We're working with communities across the province to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help more businesses safely and responsibly hang up their 'Open for Business' sign," said Premier Ford.
"While we want as many people back to work and taking home a paycheque again as possible, it's important for everyone ― no matter what stage your community is in ― to remain on guard and keep following the public health advice. By working together, we can keep new case numbers down and ensure all of Ontario can enter Stage 3 when it's safe to do so."
Last week, Premier Ford announced that 24 public health regions in the province could enter Stage 3 of Ontario's reopening plan on Friday, July 17, which allows for groups of 50 to congregate indoors and 100 for outdoors.
In Stage 3, dine-in restaurants, bars, gyms, fitness centres, live shows, performing arts centres, casinos, concert venues, recreational facilities, team sports, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses, and tour and guide services are permitted to reopen.
However, there will be significant health and safety measures in place, including physical distancing, enhanced cleaning protocols, and Plexiglas barriers.
The provincial government says it will continue to assess trends in the public health indicators to determine when these final public health unit regions can progress to Stage 3. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health experts will also continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be further loosened or if they need to be tightened.
This announcement comes as the Province of Ontario confirmed there are 135 new known COVID-19 cases on Monday morning, with one more reported death from the illness. Of the new cases, Toronto, Peel, and Windsor-Essex account for 78 of the 135 new cases of COVID-19 reported by the Ministry of Health this morning. Another 20 were confirmed in Ottawa.