Gyms, spas reopen in parts of GTA as most regions enter Stage 3 today
Published Friday, July 24, 2020 5:45AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 24, 2020 9:31AM EDT
Most regions in Ontario are entering the final stage of the province’s reopening plan today, including parts of the Greater Toronto Area.
The regions of York, Durham, and Halton are advancing to Stage 3 today, allowing municipalities to reopen many additional businesses, including gyms, spas, and movie theatres.
Indoor dining can also now resume at bars and restaurants and the size of gatherings can increase to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors as part of Stage 3.
Toronto and Peel Region will remain in Stage 2 until at least next week.
"We welcome Stage 3 because it is going to give us the opportunity to support more local businesses. So that is certainly very, very positive,” Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti said Friday. “I would say also though that we have to proceed with caution... and make sure we have all the right protocols in place."
While many are eager to see more businesses reopen, some GTA mayors have expressed concern over the risks associated with allowing customers in some indoor spaces.
Scarpitti told CP24 that he wants to see added precautions taken at gyms and fitness centres.
"If you work out and you normally don't wear gloves, wear gloves," he said, adding that he is asking gyms to provide more than two metres of space between machines and other equipment when possible.
"When people are working out, they are obviously breathing harder, they are expelling more droplets and we want to make sure that we are creating the safest environment possible for people."
Toronto Mayor John Tory and Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown have both called for stricter rules for bars and indoor dining, including earlier closing times and further capacity limits.
The Ontario Medical Association has asked the province to reconsider reopening bars indefinitely due to the risk associated with transmission indoors as some cities have experienced clusters of infections associated with indoor dining.
Premier Doug Ford has indicated that any additional measures for bars and restaurants would be the responsibility of local public health officials.