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Stage 3 update and community news

I'm taking a break from my usual editorial-style column this week to update you about Stage 3 operations for our City, as well as local news and updates from our community partners. Keep reading for COVID-19 information or scroll down to the "Community Events & Notices" section for local updates.

Stage 3 Last Friday, Toronto officially entered Stage 3 of the province's phased re-opening plan. Entering this Stage allows for the safe restart of more businesses and services including playgrounds, additional recreational programs, indoor restaurant dining, gyms and sports facilities with certain restrictions in place. While businesses and workplaces have almost all re-opened, we must continue to listen to Toronto Public Health advice by continuing to practise physical distancing, limiting our social bubbles to 10 people, washing our hands often and wearing a mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Summary of changes


PLAYGROUNDS

Dallington Park

The city’s more than 800 playgrounds and play structures are now open. City staff will be visiting all playgrounds over the coming days to post updated signage with public health guidance. Outdoor playground equipment will not be sanitized. If a playground is busy, Toronto Public Health recommends finding another park or coming back later. The full guidelines document for parents and guardians can be found here.



COMMUNITY RECREATION AND LIBRARIES


Additional recreational programs and services at community centres will resume in multiple phases beginning mid-August. Instructor and staff-led programs and activities such as fitness classes, drop-in sports and aqua-fitness programs are expected to begin in September. Beginning mid-August, the Toronto Public Library will begin to gradually resume adapted in-branch services in multiple phases, with relevant health and safety measures in place.



GATHERINGS

Toronto residents are allowed to participate in indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people, with continued physical distancing requirements from anyone outside your 10-person social circle.

BUSINESSES AND FACILITIES

I visited Marjo Bakery at Van Horne Plaza for a sweet treat recently

Under the Province’s Stage 3 order, many businesses and facilities are able to re-open, under specific conditions and with mandatory public health measures. Below are some examples. Restaurants and bars are permitted to offer indoor dine-in service, with requirements including:

  • Separating tables by at least two metres or using barriers between tables;

  • Prohibiting dancing, singing or musical performances;

  • Patrons must be seated at all times except when entering or exiting, using the washroom, or while placing or picking up an order or paying for an order

  • Maintaining customer logs to be used by Toronto Public Health for contact tracing purposes.

Recreational attractions and businesses (i.e. museums, zoos, arcades):

  • Live shows, performing arts and movie theatres are subject to a limit of no more than 50 people indoors and no more than 100 people outdoors;

  • There is no attendance limit on drive-in cinemas.

Personal services:

  • Personal services settings can now perform services tending to the face, i.e. facials, beard trims, eyebrow grooming, eyelash extensions, etc.

  • This is subject to patrons continuing to wear a mask or face covering unless receiving services to the chin, mouth, or nose area.


Services that are not re-opening


Some businesses, services and activities deemed high-risk are not yet permitted to resume, including:

  • Nightclubs

  • Amusement parks and water parks

  • Buffet-style food services

  • Private karaoke rooms

  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars

  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments

  • Dancing at restaurants and bars

  • Overnight stays at camps for children

  • Team sports (may only be played if there is no physical contact)

What's next? While our numbers are going down every day, it's important to remember that COVID-19 remains a risk in our community. No service or space can re-open without strict public health measures. We absolutely must continue to be diligent if we want to maintain our success and prevent the virus from spreading. It's more important now than ever to keep up our good habits as more establishments and public spaces open, and as people take part in more activities.

Physically-distanced community meetings like this one I held at Blue Ridge Rd last month will be common for the time being



To learn more about what to expect and how to keep safe as we adapt to life in Stage 3, visit toronto.ca/ReopenTO. The City’s website is also updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures.


And of course, if you have a question or concern that isn't addressed on the City's website please don't hesitate to contact me.






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