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Bars, Restaurants, Gyms and Movie Theatres Can Open on Friday

Southwestern Public Health, which includes Oxford County is one of 24 regions in the Province that will move into Stage 3 on Friday which allows for 100 people to gather outdoors and 50 people indoors. Haldimand Norfolk will have to stay in stage 2.

ONTARIO - 24 regions in the Province of Ontario will be allowed to move into Stage 3 on Friday. 

Southwestern Public Health Unit, which includes Oxford County will be included in Stage 3. Haldimand Norfolk is one of the regions that will have to stay in Stage 2 for the time being. The other regions that will remain in Stage 2 include Toronto, York, Peel, Durham, Niagara, Windsor-Essex, Halton, Hamilton and Lambton. 

Stage 3 means expanding the limits on public gatherings. The new limits will allow up to 100 people gather outdoors and up to 50 people can gather indoors. Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements.

The following businesses will be allowed to open in regions that will be in Stage 3 on Friday.  

- Dine in Restaurants.
- Bars 
- Gyms and Fitness Centres
- Most personal care services
- Live Shows, Performing Arts and Movie Theatres
- Team Sports and Live Sporting Events 
- Casinos 
- Recreational Facilities and Activities
- Tour and Guide Services. 

Premier Doug Ford says all of these businesses will have to follow the safety guidelines.

"We have over 170 workplace resources available online to help all of these places reopen safely, and a key part of getting people back to work is making sure parents, workers have the child care support they need."

Ford says the people of Ontario have been great and that is why we are ready for Stage 3. 

"Our success in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and getting Ontario to a place where we are ready to reopen most of the province is a testament to the hard work of business owners, individuals and families right across the province. So many have stepped up and played by the rules, demonstrating that we can restart our economy safely and responsibly. Small actions can make a big difference. Now more than ever, we must continue to follow the public health advice to preserve the progress we have made together."

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following, high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, even if a region has entered Stage 3, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

- Amusement parks and water parks;
- Buffet-style food services;
- Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements;
- Overnight stays at camps for children;
- Private karaoke rooms;
- Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports;
- Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars;
- Table games at casinos and gaming establishments.
Ford also said they want to see every child back to school full time in September.

"This is what we are working towards with the support of our medical officer of health and I am confident we will get there, but we will not take unnecessary risks with our children, which is why we have to continue planning for every possible scenario as they get ready to go back to school."

More information on Stage 3 can be found online here. 

You can listen to the Premiers remarks below:

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