Provincial leadership has once again extended Ontario’s emergency orders until July 29 at the earliest. Premier Doug Ford made the announcement earlier this week.

"Although the trends in public health indicators continue to improve, we must remain on our guard and only relax emergency orders if and when safe to do so," said Premier Ford.

"By following our gradual plan to reopen the province, we are seeing people get back to work and resume many activities safely. We do not want to undo the tremendous progress we have made together, so I urge everyone to stay the course and follow public health advice."

The government intends to extend emergency orders to align with new legislation that has been proposed. If passed, the proposed legislation would enable the extension of some pandemic emergency orders over the next year.

The bill gives the province the power to keep some pandemic measures in place for up to a year, even as the state of emergency ends. However, Ford says no new restrictions or fines would be introduced.

This comes as northwestern Ontario begins to reopen its economy today, as the region moves into Stage 3 of Ontario’s Reopening Framework. Up to 100 residents will be able gather outside, and up to 50 residents will be able to gather indoors, but all are still expected to strictly follow all social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Businesses that are now able to open, if they feel comfortable doing so, include: dine-in restaurants, gyms, personal care services, live shows, performing arts centres, movie theatres, casinos, recreation centres, recreation facilities, live sports, team sports, and tour and guide services.

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Northwestern Ontario moves into Stage 3 on Friday