The Ontario government has extended all emergency orders, which include restrictions on social gatherings. Emergency orders, which were scheduled to expire on June 19, have been extended until June 30.
“The extension of these emergency orders gives our frontline healthcare providers the flexibility to respond quickly to urgent needs and protect our most vulnerable,” Prime Minister Doug Ford said in a statement on Wednesday. “Even if we see a drop in infection rates with an increase in test levels, we still cannot lower our guard. ”
The government has said it will continue to review each emergency order on a case-by-case basis and determine when it can be adjusted or lifted.
Ford has previously stated that extending emergency orders will not slow the province’s reopening plan.
As of Friday, the majority of Ontario’s public health unit regions have moved to Stage 2, ending the month-long closure of some businesses crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of this Friday, the only regions not allowed to proceed to Stage 2 are Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex. They will remain in Stage 1 until at least next week, when the province reassesses the data and decides if it is ready to go ahead next Friday.
The province doubled the rules for social gatherings last week, now allowing up to 10 people who are not from the same household to meet. The increased rules for social gathering apply to the entire province, whether or not the region advances to Stage 2, but the rules for physical distance still apply.
The Ford government also introduced the concept of “social circles” on Friday, which allows people to choose a group of up to 10 people where physical distance measurements are not necessary.