Ontario government extends all COVID-19 emergency orders
TORONTO -- The Ontario government has extended all emergency orders, which includes restrictions on social gatherings.
The emergency orders, which were set to expire on June 19, have been extended until June 30.
"Extending these emergency orders gives our frontline health care providers the necessary flexibility to rapidly respond to urgent needs and protect our most vulnerable," Premier Doug Ford said in a statement on Wednesday. "Even though we're seeing decreasing infection rates with increased testing levels, we can't let our guard down just yet."
The government said it will continue to review each emergency order on a case-by-case basis and determine when it can be adjusted or lifted.
Ford has said previously that extending the emergency orders will not slow down the province’s reopening plan.
The majority of Ontario's public health unit regions moved forward to Stage 2 last Friday, ending the months-long closure for some businesses crippled financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of this Friday, the only regions not allowed to move forward to Stage 2 are Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex. They will remain in Stage 1 until at least next week, when the province will reassess the data and decide if they are ready to move forward next Friday.
The province doubled social gathering rules last week, now allowing up to 10 people, who are not from the same household, to get together. The increased social gathering rules apply to the entire province, regardless of whether the region is moving to Stage 2, but physical distancing rules still apply.
The Ford government also introduced the concept of "social circles" on Friday, which allows people to pick an group of up to 10 people where physical distancing measures are not required.