It's official: Ontario to enter Step 1 of reopening plan this Friday

Jun 7 2021, 9:52 am

Ontario is set to enter Step 1 of its reopening plan this week, days earlier than initially anticipated.

Officials announced on Monday that the province will enter the first step of reopening at 12:01 am on Friday, June 11.

The earlier reopening date is based on increasing vaccination rates across the province, as well as improving health-system indicators.

“Thanks to the ongoing success of Team Ontario’s vaccine rollout and the ongoing improvements in public health trends, we are able to enter step one of the Roadmap and begin to safely and cautiously lift restrictions,” Premier Doug Ford said.

“As we begin to enjoy the benefits of the first step in our roadmap, like meeting friends on a patio or visiting your favourite local store, please do so safely by continuing to follow all public health guidelines.”

Officials had previously earmarked June 14 as the date Ontario would enter the first step of its three-stage reopening plan.

Here is what is included in the reopening plan this Friday:

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 10 people
  • Outdoor religious services, rites, and ceremonies with however many people can maintain a physical distance of two metres
  • Indoor religious services, rites, and ceremonies permitted at up to 15% capacity of the room they are held in
  • Non-essential retail permitted at 15% capacity, with no restrictions on the items that can be sold
  • Essential and other select retail permitted at 25% capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold
  • Outdoor dining with up to four people per table, with exceptions for larger households
  • Outdoor fitness classes, outdoor groups in personal training, and outdoor sports training can be permitted with up to 10 people, among other restrictions
  • Day camps for children are permitted to operate in a manner that is consistent with the safety guidelines for COVID-19 produced by the office of the chief medical officer of health
  • Overnight camping at campgrounds and campsites, including Ontario provincial parks, and short-term rentals
  • Concert venues, theatres, and cinemas may open outdoors for the purpose of rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcast concert, artistic event, theatrical performance, or other performance with no more than 10 performers, among other restrictions
  • Outdoor horse racing tracks and motor speedways permitted to operate without spectators
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, landmarks, historic sites, and botanical gardens are permitted with capacity limits and other restrictions

According to the reopening plan, Step 1 can begin once at least 60% of adults have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

As of 8 pm on June 6, 72% of those aged 18 and older had met that benchmark.

“While we have reached the point where we can safely move into Step One, now is not the time to get complacent,” said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.

“We must all remain vigilant, as the fight against COVID-19 is not over.

To date, Ontario has seen 536,607 COVID-19 cases and 8,869 deaths.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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