Published Jul 14, 2020Yesterday (July 13), Doug Ford's Ontario government announced that much of the province would be entering Stage 3 of reopening on Friday (July 17), as coronavirus lockdowns are gradually eased. Of course, this means some major changes for the film and music industries.
For the time being, Stage 3 is coming to 24 of the province's 34 health zones. This includes cities like Ottawa, Kingston, Waterloo and Thunder Bay — but not the Toronto region.
Under Stage 3, the vast majority of businesses will be allowed to reopen (with social distancing measures in tact). This includes some potentially promising news for music venues, since bars and restaurants will be able to offer indoor dining. Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, and outdoor gatherings have been expanded to 100 people. Nightclubs are still closed, however, except for the purposes of serving food and drink.
The Stage 3 outline from the government specifically mentions that "concerts, live shows [and] festivals" are included within the new public gathering guidelines. All public gatherings are required to maintain a two-metre distance between attendees.
The big news for the film industry is that movie theatres are now permitted to reopen.
Although there's still no film timeline for when these new guidelines will come to Toronto, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said that he hopes the entire province will be in Stage 3 by the end of July.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said that, while Stage 3 restrictions may continue to loosen over time, the province won't be able to fully reopen (that is, reach Stage 4) until a vaccine is available.