UPDATED: Golf, outdoor amenities opening Saturday

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Premier Doug Ford during Thursday's news conference.

Ford backs away from school opening saying Ontario “can’t afford” increase in COVID-19 cases right now

The province is opening outdoor amenities such as golf courses, basketball and tennis courts Saturday.

It’s part of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen the province.

Christine Elliott, the deputy premier and Minister of Health, announced starting Saturday, golf courses, basketball and tennis courts will reopen. People will also be able to get together outdoors with up to five people other than family.

Elliott says based on the current trends, the province will likely begin step one – reopening outdoor activities with smaller crowds, retail operating at 15 per cent, outdoor dining with four people to a table, and gatherings of up to 10 people by June 14.

The second step she says will include limited indoor services, and the third will include opening gyms, cinemas, performing arts centers as well as indoor dining. Elliott says there will be 21 days between each step to determine the health effects of the changes.

After Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Table suggested it may be “manageable” for students to return to school even though cases would rise 11 per cent, Premier Doug Ford appeared to back away from the idea of getting kids back to class.

“An increasing cases by 11 per cent; that’s concerning to me,” he said during a news conference this afternoon. “We can’t afford an increase of 11 per cent right now.”