ON: Emergency orders extended while gradual reopening, gatherings defined and digital funding

Ontario extends emergency orders as it moves into stage 2
The Ontario government has once again extended all emergency orders, the new end date is June 30, 2020.

Over the past week, the province moved into Stage 2 of its Framework for Reopening the province. On June 12, Ontario Parks started opening campgrounds, providing more washrooms and drinking water, along with roofed accommodations, park store and rental operations, visitor centres, and sports fields. Check  OntarioParks.com to see what facilities and services are available.

As of June 19, 2020, seven more regions will be able to enter stage 2 of the province’s re-opening plans: Durham, Hamilton, York, Halton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, and Sarnia-Lambton County. Toronto, Peel, and Windsor-Essex will remain in stage 1 for now, though Health Minister Christine Elliott expressed hope that these regions will progress into stage 2 shortly.

Starting in July 2020, limited in-person education and training may restart for students who were not able to graduate due to COVID-19 closures. This first phase will allow institutions to reopen to provide in-person instruction to students in essential, frontline, and high labour market demand areas, such as nursing, personal support workers, engineering, and other critical professions.

In September, all students will have the opportunity to attend postsecondary education through virtual learning, in-class instruction, or hybrid formats.

Social gatherings versus circles
In addition, larger social gatherings of up to 10 people are now allowed in all parts of the province, and people are encouraged to create or join a social circle. Social circles are different from social gatherings. Social gatherings of people from outside your household are limited to 10 people. A social circle is voluntary, but if adopted should include all household members, and can include family and friends outside the household up to a maximum of 10 people in the social circle, who can interact and come into close contact with one another without physical distancing. To learn how to create a social circle, please see the step-by-step guide.

Canada and Ontario helping small businesses go digital
The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is helping small businesses reach more customers through the Digital Main Street platform. The $57-million program is designed to help up to 22,900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students. Click here for more information on the program.