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Small Toronto retailers, including those in malls, may soon reopen with capacity constraints if Premier Doug Ford follows new advice from the city’s Public Health Chief

Dr Eileen de Villa told reporters Wednesday that after the home stay order ends, Toronto should be in the “gray lockdown” zone, where non-essential stores can reopen – albeit at only 25 percent of normal stores Customer capacity

Big box stores would also be limited to 25 percent of normal indoor capacity. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores can be used up to 50 percent

“Getting out of the ‘stay-at-home’ ordering is sensible practice for Toronto,” de Villa said at a briefing, adding that relaxing some rules is a “delicate balance” ”

“We are about to take a coveted step towards more flexibility in our daily lives … but the steps to self-protection are more valuable and important than ever”

She found that the number of suspected variant cases has more than doubled in one week

“The variant figure is not what I want to see,” she said, noting that the transition to the gray area and further reopening depends on the number of cases falling further and the spread of the variants being controlled

If Ford accepts de Villa’s advice and the same gray area request from Dr Lawrence Loh, Toronto and Peel could move from more than 100 days of shutdown to a slightly less restrictive lockdown on Tuesday

Restaurants and bars are only available for takeout and delivery until Toronto moves into one of the less restrictive zones – red control, orange restriction, yellow protection or green prevention Also for gyms, hairdressing salons and other “personal care services” which are also closed in the gray area

Amid ongoing concerns about its increasing prevalence in highly communicable variants, de Villa also issued instructions for stepping up measures to prevent infection in the workplace

Toronto imposed its second lockdown in November 23 Amid rising COVID-19 infections, Ford put all of Ontario in lockdown on Boxing Day and added a stay at home order to Jan 14

As other regions in Ontario, including parts of the GTA, reopened due to falling virus levels, de Villa and Loh successfully urged Ford not to relax restrictions on Toronto and Peel Feb 22 amid concerns over COVID-19 variants

“I believe this is the right approach and is based on the public health advice we relied on during this pandemic to save lives and protect people,” he said

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said she was holding on to a plea for Ford to move their city to the less restrictive Red Zone, which has restrictions on indoor dining and reopening gyms and salons. p>

In her annual state of the city speech, Crombie called her area’s public health chief “very careful” and added, “I think it’s time” to go to the red zone, citing the prospect Mass vaccinations and a hospital capacity, Mississauga News reported

Fire chief Matthew Pegg, head of the city’s COVID-19 emergency team, told the briefing on Wednesday that he expected the city to have significant vaccine supplies to start mass vaccination by the end of March

When asked about 114000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to be given to Ontario each day and then distributed to local health units, Pegg said he had no further information and it was up to the province to decide how much Toronto received

Attorney General Sylvia Jones released few details on Wednesday beyond the fact that the vaccine will go to people aged 60 to 64 as it is not approved for seniors Confirmation that a large part of the delivery has an expiration date for the 2nd April has

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Gray Area Rules, Gray Area Rules For Toronto

World News – CA – Toronto should move into the “gray area” to ease restrictions on retailers, the city’s public health chief told the city the province

Source: https://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2021/03/03/toronto-should-be-moved-to-grey-zone-easing-restrictions-on-retailers-citys-public-health-chief-tells-province.html