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Document outlining 5 phases of economy reopening is fake, province says

Last Updated May 6, 2020 at 8:52 pm EDT

A closed sign on a storefront. GETTY IMAGES/Steve Goodwin

A document purporting to outline Ontario’s road map to ease COVID-19 restrictions has surfaced and is spreading online, but the province claims it’s not legitimate and is reminding Ontarians to be vigilant about receiving information from credible sources.

The document provides specific dates and claims the lifting of pandemic restrictions will take place in five phases, with the first beginning May 18 when garden centres, hardware stores and tourism sites may reopen.

Phase two on June 8 would see public libraries reopen and allow some outdoor sporting activities to commence. Cafes and restaurants could reopen in phase three on June 29, with hair salons and barbershops to follow in phase four on July 20.

By the fifth phase on August 10, schools and colleges would reopen on a phased basis, and cinemas and gyms would be back in business.

In a statement to 680 NEWS, the province denies the document’s legitimacy.

“We ask that Ontarians exercise a high degree of caution during this time and ensure they’re relying on information from credible sources,” a spokesperson said.

“We will continue to keep all Ontarians informed of any updates through official government channels.”

RELATED: Everything you need to know about coronavirus


The province did announce Wednesday that it will allow non-essential retail stores to open for curbside pickup on May 11.

Premier Doug Ford says garden centres and nurseries will also be allowed to open on Friday, and hardware stores and safety supply stores will follow on Saturday.

Ford stressed that those stores will be expected to follow the same public health measures as grocery stores and pharmacies currently do, such as physical distancing, offering contactless payment and sanitizing surfaces.


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