After three long and hard months of following strict public health rules and quarantine, the province of Ontario is ready to relax many of the current public health restrictions on businesses.
On Monday, Jun. 08, 2020, the Ontario government announced its plan to move to Stage 2 of reopening the economy by allowing businesses to reopen with relaxed public health restrictions.
Effective Jun. 12, 2020, most businesses in the province – with the exception of the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton area, and regions closest to Windsor – will be allowed to reopen their doors to customers, given they follow public health guidelines.
“We have moved things online like our menus are all online on our social media like our Instagram,” local eatery Patent Social told Imprint over Instagram.
“We’re focusing on reducing contact, 44 people will be allowed on the patio at once. No reservations will have to be made this weekend, but next weekend you will. We are feeling cautious and uncertain, but eager to get things going.”
In the framework released by the province of Ontario, changes to the limit of public and social gatherings are highlighted, as well as the types of businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures to adhere to.
“Social gathering limits will be expanded to up to 10 people. People must still practice physical distancing by keeping two meters away from others outside of their direct household,” according to the province’s reopening framework.
In Kitchener, the Kitchener City Council passed a motion on Monday, Jun. 08, 2020 to support food services opening up their patios for Stage 2.
The city will also waive any fees typically involved with opening a patio.
The city will also allow restaurants on private properties to extend their outdoor space into parking lots.
“Everything has changed, like we’ve changed how we clean our tables, using antibacterial solutions and cleaning surfaces every half hour and closing napkin dispensers,” Bauer’s Kitchen said over Instagram.
“Our menus have moved online to cut down on waste. Our team is all wearing masks and visors. We are feeling nervous but confident, we’ve been preparing for a long time. As this week goes by we will probably feel more relaxed.”
Provincial rules dictate patrons are only allowed to sit together if they’re from the same household and that establishments have a tracing strategy in place.
Personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place will also be allowed to open.
All of this includes tattoo parlours, barbershops, beauty salons, patios, curbside pick-up, and parking lots.
However, services that tend to the customer’s face, such as facials, facial hair grooming, eyebrow grooming, and makeup are prohibited.
As the province prepares to relax its restrictions, the public eagerly awaits for more information and the exciting reopening of services for Stage 2.
The province’s reopening plans have four stages in total.