Earlier today, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, joined by Minister of Health and Deputy Premier Christine Elliott, Finance Minister Rod Phillips and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation & Trade Vic Fedeli announced Ontario’s framework to reopen the economy. The plan, detailed below, highlights the government’s caution to responsibly re-open the province. Noting the province’s phased approach will bring Ontario to a “new normal,” Premier Ford emphasized the new realities Ontario will face as a result of COVID-19.
FRAMEWORK FOR REOPENING ONTARIO
The government has structured the re-opening of the economy into three phases:
Phase 1 | Protect and Support
- Ontario is still in the first phase of the response to COVID-19 and the government remains focused on the health and well-being of Ontarians, supporting frontline staff, and immediate support to protect people and jobs.
Phase 2 | Restart
- The Restart Phase will be unveiled in a gradual, staged approach which will be split into 3 stages, each of which are anticipated to last for a 2-4 week period.
- Stage 1 will see some select workplaces reopened. These workplaces must have modified operations specific to public health guidance. Some parks and other outdoor spaces will be opened to allow events like funerals, again, abiding by public health guidelines. Non-urgent surgeries, like those for cancer patients, will begin to be offered by hospitals.
- Stage 2 will open more workplaces, pending a risk assessment, which may include office and retail workplaces. Additional outdoor spaces will be opened, and public gathering restrictions will be loosened.
- Stage 3 will further relax public gathering restrictions and allow the responsible opening of all workplaces.
- While unveiling Phase 2 (Restart), the government will use the following factors to determine the easing of public health measures:
- Virus spread and containment ensures measures are appropriately timed with the progression of the pandemic
- Health System capacity ensures an effective public health response to potential case resurgence
- Public Health System capacity ensures an effective response to potential case resurgence
- Incidence Tracking capacity ensures prompt identification of any resurgence in cases
Phase 3 | Recover
- Culminating in Phase 3, the government plans to partner with businesses and other as the province transitions to a “new normal.” The focus of this phase will be to create jobs and opportunities across the province and restoring long-term prosperity of all in Ontario.