The state of emergency order in Ontario is being extended for another 28 days until June 30, Premier Doug Ford confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
Premier Ford made the announcement during his daily COVID briefing at Queen's Park and emphasized that the extension doesn't mean the reopening of the economy is on hold and that the province will continue to look into a regional reopening approach.
Under the state of emergency, gatherings larger than five people are still banned and some businesses such as restaurants and bars, except if they offer takeout or delivery, must remain closed, while staff redeployment rules for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters remain in place.
The current declaration of emergency, which expired on June 2, gives the government power under the province's Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The state of emergency has been in effect since March 17 and was extended on March 30 and then on April 14 and again on May 12.
During stage one, stores with street entrances are permitted to reopen, but gatherings of groups are still limited to five or less unless those people reside in the same household. In the second stage, 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 three would see all workplaces allowed to reopen, including indoor restaurants and bars.
The framework, which was announced in April, is being overseen by public health officials who will carefully monitor 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.
This news comes as the province confirmed 404 positive coronavirus cases and 10 more virus-related deaths, bringing the total number of cases to 28,262 in Ontario as of Tuesday, June 2.