Stay-at-home orders will be lifted in and around Toronto on March 8th as the city moves into a grey zone. This will allow for varying services to reopen, with a maximum capacity to abide by. The province announced the return to the framework today for Toronto Public Health and Peel Public Health.
“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 Elliot stated. She reminds us that a return to the framework is not a return to normal “As we continue vaccinating more Ontarians, it remains critical for everyone to continue to follow public health measures and stay home as much as possible to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities.”
With all of these closures and openings it can be hard to keep track of what we can and cannot do in a grey zone. While this is still a lockdown, there will be a loosening of some restrictions.
Retail will be allowed to reopen under the return to the framework. Grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open at 50% capacity while all other retail stores including shopping malls, garden centres and hardware stores will reopen with 25% capacity limits. Face coverings and physical distancing will be enforced.
Unfortunately, in a grey zone restaurants are not permitted to open for dine-in (or outside dining) but drive-thru, delivery and takeout services will still be available.
Indoor public events and gatherings are still prohibited and people are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible. In cases where physical distancing can be maintained, outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted. Travelling to other regions should only be done if absolutely necessary.
Personal Care Services
Hair and nail salons, barbershops, tattoo shops, tanning salons and other cosmetic service-providing stores will not be permitted to open within the grey zone restrictions. Healthcare appointments such as physiotherapy and massage therapy are allowed.
Amid the grey zone restrictions, religious services are limited to a capacity of 10 people, indoors or out. This includes weddings and ceremonies, religious services and funeral services.
Some facilities will be able to open under the new guidelines but are subject to conditions, such as golf courses and day camps. Team sports are still under lockdown with exceptions to professional athletes.
For those interested in library services, you’ll be pleased to know libraries will open up but will be limited to computer use and contactless pickup.
Veterinarian services will be able to resume along with pet training, sitting, walking and grooming services.