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Eventual reopening of city likely to be 'phased in over period of months:' Tory
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Monday, April 20, 2020 7:55AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 20, 2020 8:48AM EDT
The eventual reopening of Toronto will likely be “phased in over a period of months” and may not even get underway for some time yet, warns Mayor John Tory.
Tory made the comments to CP24 on Monday morning as he discussed a weekend meeting that he held with senior staff to begin “complicated” discussions around how the city could be reopened once public health officials authorize the lifting of some restrictions.
Tory said that while the exact details of the reopening of the city are still a work in progress, it will be done using a “staged process” and won’t begin “one minute before” public health officials say that it can.
“Our Medical Officer of Health said at the beginning that this was at least a 12-week process in terms of the lockdown and we are just six weeks into it,” he said. “I hate to be the bearer of sobering news but I think we are maybe just or are about to reach the peak and that is not the day in which you say that it is time to start reopening things.”
Tory said that some activities like the use of dog parks perhaps represent a lower risk and could be reopened sooner while other things, like sports fields, involve a higher degree or risk with “people playing in close proximity to each other” and may need to remain closed for longer.
He said that the question of when and how to reopen restaurants for dine-in service also looms large with lots of debate to follow on whether all of them will be allowed to open at once and whether there may be some sort of effort to limit capacity in those establishments at first.
“There is just an endless list of questions. I think what you will see first from us is some kind of structure with some of the people who will actually be the ones responsible for this very difficult and very complicated plan,” he said. “We will keep the public informed but I don’t think you are going see a big rush to come out with a plan tomorrow morning or anything because we aren’t yet through this and it (the plan) isn’t yet thought through.”
The city has already cancelled events and permits through June 30 and Tory said that discussions are now taking place around whether Canada Day festivities and other summer events will be allowed to continue.
He said that he also expects an announcement to be made early this week on efforts the city will take to ensure that residents don’t flock to High Park to see the cherry blossoms next month.