At his press conference this afternoon, Premier Ford is expected to announce more details surrounding Stage 2 of the province's reopening.

This does not mean Stage 2 will begin takin place today.

Stage 1 in the province's reopening of the economy was originally announced on May 14, but many businesses were not allowed to begin reopening until the following week.

During Stage 1, stores with street entrances have been permitted to reopen, but gatherings of groups have still been limited to five or less unless those people reside in the same household. In Stage 2, the government will consider reopening more workplaces, including some service industries and shops, and other outdoor activities such as outdoor play structures and public pools, as well as allowing some larger gatherings. Stage 3 would see all workplaces allowed to reopen, including indoor restaurants and bars.

The framework for the province's reopening, which was announced in mid-April, is continually being overseen by public health officials who are carefully monitoring each stage for two to four weeks, as they assess the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak to determine if it is necessary to change course to maintain public health before moving to the next one.

Ontario currently has more than 30,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 24,000 recovered, and 2,426 deaths.

Just last week, the state of emergency in the province was extended until June 30. The declaration of emergency gives the government power under the province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and has been in effect since March 17 (it was extended on March 30, April 14, and again on May 12). But, when announcing the continued state of emergency, Ford emphasized that the extension does not mean the reopening of the economy is on hold and that the province will continue to look into a regional reopening approach.

At 1 pm today, Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, to make an announcement that is largely expected to centre on details specific to Stage 2 of Ontario's reopening of the economy.

Ontario News