The Ontario government announced on Mar. 5 that Toronto and the Peel Region will transit into the grey zone of the province’s COVID-19 reopening framework on next Monday, with the stay-at-home order lifted as well.
“Our government is taking a safe and cautious approach to returning to the Framework and due to our progress, all regions of the province will soon be out of the provincewide shutdown,” Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott said in a news release.
“Despite this positive step forward, a return to the Framework is not a return to normal.”
Starting March 8 at 12.01 a.m, the stay-at-home order in Toronto and Peel will be lifted and residents can gather outdoors again in groups of up to 10 people.
All retail stores will be allowed to be opened at 25 percent of their indoor capacity. Supermarkets and other stores that mainly sell groceries, convenience stores, and pharmacies are allowed to open at 50 percent capacity.
North Bay Parry Sound will move to the red zone, the second most restrictive level of pandemic measures after the grey zone.
Seven other regions will also transit to different restriction levels of the framework on Mar. 8.
Peterborough, Sudbury, and Simcoe-Muskoka will go into the red zone while Haldimand-Norfolk and Temiskaming will go into orange. Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge, and Renfrew County will go into yellow, according to the government.
“While all regions have returned to the Framework, everyone must remain vigilant to help prevent any further increases in transmission,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said in the release.
“The best defense against the virus and all of its variants of concern remains continuing to stay at home, avoiding social gatherings, only travelling outside of your community for essential purposes, and limiting close contacts to your household or those you live with.”