COVID-19 Update for May 13 2021 – Stay-at-Home Order Extended Again
Ontarians Staying At Home
Hopes to do more outside will have to wait a little longer, as the province announced Thursday the current Stay-At-Home order will extend until June 2.
Despite calls to rescind the ban on outdoor recreational activities including golf, tennis and basketball, Premier Doug Ford announced all public health measures will remain in place until that date. Ford said by that time, the province will be able to open outdoor recreation and introduce a plan to begin reopening Ontario.
He said the plan will not include large sporting events or concerts, but the goal is to “have the most normal July and August possible.”
The decreasing trend in daily new case counts and high vaccination uptake in hotspot areas were not strong enough for the province to consider loosening restrictions, as hospitals are still under immense pressure. Variants of concerns also remain a major concern and Ontario officials continue to call for stronger border measures by the federal government.
The province-wide Stay-At-Home order introduced on April 16 was originally scheduled to end ahead of the long weekend on May 20.
Vaccines for Students
Ford also announced that beginning May 31, Ontario youth aged 12-17 will be eligible to book an appointment for their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Schools will continue virtual learning until public health doctors, teachers and labour partners are able to reach a consensus.
Support for Travel and Tourism Businesses
With no travel or tourism opportunities on the horizon, the Ontario government highlighted a $100 million business grant for small tourism and travel businesses that have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. Eligible businesses for a one-time payment between $10,000-$20,000 include travel agencies, hotels and resorts who did not receive funding from the Ontario Small Business Grant.
Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, said this grant is estimated to support 7,700 businesses, but there is “flexibility to support more” if the total exceeds 7,700 or $100 million.
Applications are open until June 25.