Thanks to declining COVID-19 cases and rising vaccination rates, Ontario will enter Step 2 of its reopening plan next week.
Officials announced on Thursday the province would enter the second stage of its phased reopening as of 12:01 am on June 30.
“Because of the tireless work of our health care heroes, and the record setting success of our vaccine rollout, we are able to move into Step Two ahead of schedule on June 30 with the support of our public health experts,” Premier Doug Ford said in a press release.
“We are proceeding safely with the re-opening of our province and will continue to work around the clock until the job is done.”
At this time more than 75% of adults over 18 have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 25% are fully vaccinated, which is actually the benchmark officials set for Ontario to enter Step 3.
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Although Ontario is ahead of schedule in terms of meeting the vaccination rates set out in the province’s three-step reopening plan, medical experts have recommended that the province remains in Step 2 for at least 21 days to allow those who have been recently vaccinated to develop immunity against COVID-19.
Here is what is included in the reopening plan on Wednesday:
- Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;
- Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 5 people;
- Essential and other select retail permitted at 50% capacity;
- Non-essential retail permitted at 25% capacity;
- Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times, and at 25% capacity and other restrictions;
- Outdoor dining with up to 6 people per table, with exceptions for larger households and other restrictions;
- Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted at up to 25% capacity of the particular room;
- Outdoor fitness classes limited to the number of people who can maintain 3 metres of physical distance;
- Outdoor sports without contact or modified to avoid contact, with no specified limit on the number of people or teams participating, with restrictions;
- Overnight camps for children operating in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health;
- Outdoor sport facilities with spectators permitted at 25% capacity;
- Outdoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas, with spectators permitted at 25% capacity;
- Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways, with spectators permitted at 25% capacity;
- Outdoor fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals, permitted at 25% capacity and with other restrictions.