What will happen after Step 3 in Ontario?

Jul 5 2021, 8:53 am

Premier Doug Ford said more information would be available in the next few weeks about what life will look like in Ontario after Step 3 of the reopening plan.

Ontario’s three-step reopening plan outlines the various restrictions that will be present as cases drop and vaccination rates increase. The province is currently in Step 2 of the plan, but the government hasn’t said what happens after Step 3.

Ford received a question about it on Monday while speaking to the media about a new long-term care home being built in North Bay. He didn’t reveal many specifics about what would happen after 21 days elapse from the transition to Step 2 but said a plan would be coming soon.

“We’ll be working with the health team. We’ll be rolling that out shortly over the next three weeks,” he said. “We want to get to Step 3 … I’m so happy we’re able to move forward.”

Ford also wouldn’t say when Ontario’s mandatory mask rules will be lifted. Recently, masks have become voluntary in BC.

But it appears the premier’s focus is on getting more businesses open again before lifting the mask mandate. Hair salons and other personal care shops were allowed to reopen on June 30 when the province moved to Step 2, but indoor fitness is still not allowed until Step 3.

“We’re going to work day in and day out to get every business open in this province,” Ford said. “We’re going to do it cautiously too. We’re going to take directions from the health team and work with them.”

Here’s a recap of the steps in Ontario’s reopening plan:

Reopening plan

Government of Ontario

When Ontario transitioned into Step 2 last week, the Eaton Centre had long lineups, and many Torontonians jockeyed to get a haircut appointment at their local salon.

Right now, 78% of adults have a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 46% have both shots, which is past the threshold needed to move to Step 3.

But Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore says it’s important to wait at least two or three weeks between transitions to monitor the impact loosening restrictions have on COVID-19 case rates.

“We’re going to work with Dr. Moore on a daily basis. We’re just going to follow their guidelines. They’re the experts,” Ford said Monday.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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