Province Opens Up – Partially

Today, Premier Ford announced that starting this Friday, June 12, the Province will loosen Covid-19 restrictions. Social gatherings of 10 are now permitted instead of 5 and now allowed to open will be Churches (subject to limits) restaurants (outdoor patios only), hair salons (subject to limits), swimming pools and more (details below).  But this does not apply to all of Ontario; a notable exception is the GTA plus a few other locations.  The HKPR District Health Unit which includes Cobourg is included in the loosened rules.  In all cases physical distancing apply. This is in line with the Province’s plan to move to Stage 2 on a regional basis (see link below for a description of Stage 2). As we’ve discovered, the Town will probably follow along but will be able to agree or not agree with specifics.

Doug Ford
Doug Ford

What’s changing in all Regions?

  • Limit on social gatherings goes from five to 10
  • All places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.

What will be allowed in our Region?

With proper health and safety measures in place:

  • Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
  • Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
  • Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
  • Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
  • Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
  • Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
  • Camping at private campgrounds;
  • Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
  • Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
  • Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
  • Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.

At tonight’s Council meeting, Council will be asked to make decisions on some of these items.

What rules will apply?

It depends on the service but the rules for Personal Care services such as Hair Dressers are:

  • Patrons wear face coverings at all times.
  • Workers wear face coverings and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves.
  • Personal care services must take measures to enable physical distancing between patrons, such as limiting the number of people who may be in the business at any one time.
  • Businesses should also consider operating by appointment and/or recording each patron’s name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.
  • Restrictions include:
    • Prohibiting services that tend to a customer’s face, such as facials, facial hair grooming, eyebrow grooming and makeup, as well as oxygen bars.
    • Steam rooms, saunas and bath houses must remain closed.
    • Baths, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods are closed except for therapeutic purposes prescribed by or administered by a regulated health professional. Change rooms and showers for water amenities will be available to the public if operators have the ability to adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities.
  • For clarity, a business can open to offer other permitted services even if a restricted activity is its primary service (e.g., a facial salon can open to provide other services).

In addition, there is guidance provided:

  • Screening of customers and staff for symptoms and risk factors
  • Requiring all customers to book an appointment and prohibiting walk-in customers
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfecting or sterilizing instruments, including scissors, hair clippers, nail files, and other equipment between clients
  • Assigning each worker a unique set of tools for their own use, and if not possible, limiting the number of people sharing equipment or tools
  • Getting tested if workers are worried they have or have been exposed to COVID-19

See the “Details of Stage 2” below for other services allowed, notably restaurants providing patio service, some stores in malls (but not theatres) and swimming pools.  These rules are similar to the above with social distancing required or failing that, using masks.  Some activities are still prohibited.

Although access to camping, beaches and parks will be loosened, this only applies to Provincial Parks and beaches.

Notably still closed are theatres, meeting halls, indoor dining, food courts and arenas.

I’d guess there is going to be a big education campaign.  Our expanded by-Law enforcement staff plus Cobourg Police are going to be busier than ever.


Print Article: 


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Haircuts, patios and tattoos, oh my! Nice to see our economic reopening moving in the right direction. I haven’t heard anything about Cobourg’s plan to shut down the marina and trailer park until August 31 to align with the beach closure

Canuck Patriot
Reply to  Rob
3 years ago

The Campground should remain closed for the summer. The marina should be open for residents only with proper social distancing strictly enforced. Eliminate all transient slips for this summer.

Reply to  Canuck Patriot
3 years ago

Your handle says it all.
Hello Sailor!!!
Agreed, your are right keep out the non residents and pass a by-law that prevents all residents boats from docking anywhere apart from their home Marina in Cobourg. We cannot allow residents to “ship in” the Virus surely?

Old Sailor
Reply to  Rob
3 years ago

Rob, I think some of the beach push back heard by Council was that there is no cost benefit to Cobourg in making our beach a free public beach. As well, downtown business and residential parking is swamped by the non-resident beach goers and Cobourg taxpayers have nowhere to park if they just want to have a coffee looking at their harbour. The seasonal users of the marina and trailer park pay a significant rental fee for their patch of grass or their slip. Boat slips are $2,000 to $4,000 per season based on the boat’s length. Plus winter storage.

Reply to  Old Sailor
3 years ago

Last I heard it made a smaaaal profit.
Probably from Bar Sales really taken from private enterprise restaurants/Bars.
Is the property at Market rents and Property Taxes. Does anybody know.
With the right overhead we could make anything make a profit! Apart from the C.C.C. which loses $1,000.000 annually.
Further comments?

Reply to  Rob
3 years ago

I guess the Monday Council meeting solved the Marina issue.
The Mayor resisted debate on this at the previous meeting on the Beach.
Now we know why.
The issue had been already been decided.
The Marina was in the process of re-opening and the Boats are being lifted in this weekend.

3 years ago

Great news! Looks like the beach got closed just in time.

Beach lover
Reply to  Informed
3 years ago

Ugh !

Reply to  Informed
3 years ago

In John’s blog June1 it was announced that Beach was closed to August 31. Since June 1 to June 8 inclusive there have been cumulatively 3001 new cases of Covid 19 in Ontario. I don’t understand this short term thinking. I for one do not want to be the person who infects someones family/friend and I see this as an obligation, thrust upon us for sure, to help improve/maintain in a small way the health of our community. Which one of your family or friends do you want to give up to Covid, just so a beach can be opened? As for those who say there should be creativity, options, etc. provided to enable our use of the beach – I say great and by the way how do you intend to manage, via enforcement, the hundreds of people who only want to enjoy themselves and are not concerned with being cooperative in their behavior? So stop your whining and keep family and friends safe, regardless what politicians say, after all they are worried about things/events far large/impacting that your health!

Reply to  Gerinator
3 years ago

The politicians are concerned about being re-elected and their Ego’s.
I realise you don’t care about economics but why are other beaches open including Toronto?

Reply to  Informed
3 years ago

Just in time for What?