The Government of Ontario has voted to extend the state of emergency on Tuesday afternoon after several hours of debating at Queen’s Park.
The newly extended state of emergency will be in place until June 30 following the reports from the Ontario Health Ministry that 446 additional cases of COVID-19 occurred in the province.
Under the province’s state of emergency, public health safety measures are in place such as the banning of social gatherings with more than five people who are not of the same household.
Additionally, through the state of emergency order, restaurants and bars are prohibited from opening unless they are providing either takeout services or delivery services.
Solicitor-General, Sylvia Jones, told the legislation and reporters in attendance at Queen’s Park that “the fight is not over”.
“I look forward to the day when all emergency orders can be lifted … that day is coming, speaker, but we’re not there yet.”
“We are acknowledging the adjustment and personal sacrifices must be continued to be made for a little bit longer.”
“We must not lose sight of what we are fighting for.”
Premier Doug Ford says the extension of state of emergency won’t slow down reopening of the province
Earlier on May 19, Ontario had announced the province is in the first stage of reopening, which allowed several businesses to reopen if they adhere to strict guidelines to ensure customer and employee safety.
The Premier told reporters on Tuesday that the extension of the state of emergency will not be affecting the province’s plan to reopen.
“We have to reopen safely, and I understand the problems these businesses are going through, but we are going as quickly as possible.”
“No one wants to get the economy going more than I do. Once we start, we are going to go full steam ahead.”
Ontario’s Health Minister Christine Elliott previously told reporters on Monday that the province “still needs to go some distance” before it can think about transitioning to stage two of the reopening plan.
Due to the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases, the province had to delay announcements of allowing larger social gatherings and plans of moving to stage two of the reopening plan.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there are 29,047 confirmed cases in Ontario, 22,811 of which have recovered, and more than 765,501 people who were tested for COVID-19.
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