Ontario will begin reopening its economy in mid-June as long as vaccination rates remain constant. Meanwhile, some outdoor activities are allowed to resume from Saturday under the province’s new three-tier reopening plan.
The plan will be implemented in step with vaccination rates, as well as a reduced daily COVID-19 case number and lower hospital stay rates. Premier Doug Ford announced Thursday that the plan will allow the reopening of many outdoor recreational facilities such as golf courses, tennis courts and marinas, and increase the number of people allowed to attend an outdoor gathering to five.
There is no schedule for resuming personal learning. All elementary and secondary schools will continue to learn remotely as health officials continue to evaluate data.
The first of three steps is expected to go into effect by the week of June 14th. Once 60 percent of adult Ontarians have received at least their first dose of vaccine, outdoor gatherings are allowed to be ten people. Outdoor dining can resume with a maximum of four guests per table. In step 1, non-essential retail stores can also be resumed with a limit of 15 percent of the usual branch capacity. More details below.
Step two comes into play once 70 percent of adults have received their first dose and 20 percent their second. There would be a further expansion of outdoor activities and a resumption of limited indoor services with a small number of masked people. These include outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and leagues, personal care services such as hair styling where face coverings can be worn with capacity restrictions, and indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies with a capacity of 15 percent. More details below.
Before the province can step into step three of this plan, 70 to 80 percent of Ontarians must have their first shot and 25 percent a second dose. Step three would expand access to indoor restaurants, museums, libraries, indoor recreational facilities, casinos, and bingo halls. There would be capacity limits and masks would still be required in these settings. More details below.
“Due to the stringent public health measures we have put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 variants, we see our situation steadily improving as the number of intensive care units and hospitals gradually stabilize,” said Premier Ford, “Now that millions of Ontarians have received at least their first dose of vaccine, in full consultation with our health professionals, we can begin the process of slowly and carefully reopening the province.”
NEW MODELING DATA FALLS FOR EXTENDING THE ORDER AT HOME UNTIL JUNE 16, BUT POINTS TO A GOOD MOMENTUM
Premier Ford’s announcement came just hours after new modeling data was released, showing that the June 2 reopening, as planned, would result in a slight increase in cases by mid-month. The same data showed a much more steady decline in cases through June and July, when the order was extended by two weeks.
What’s in Step One?
- Outdoor gatherings up to 10 people;
- Outdoor dining for up to 4 people per table;
- Outdoor fitness classes, personal training and sports training for up to 10 people;
- Essential retail with 25 percent capacity selling all goods (including discount and big box);
- Non-essential retail with 15 percent capacity;
- Retail stores in malls are closed unless the stores have a street entrance.
- Outdoor worship, rites and ceremonies with a capacity limited to a physical distance of 2 meters;
- Horse races and motor speedways without spectators;
- Outdoor riding;
- Outdoor pools, splash guards and paddling pools with a capacity limited to a physical distance of 2 meters;
- Outdoor zoos, attractions, historical sites, and botanical gardens with capacity restrictions;
- Campsites, campsites and short term rentals; and
- Ontario parks.
What’s in Step Two?
- Outdoor gatherings up to 25 people;
- Indoor gatherings up to 5 people and other restrictions;
- Outdoor dining for up to 6 people per table;
- Outdoor sports and leagues;
- Overnight camp;
- Outdoor meeting and event rooms with capacity restrictions;
- Non-essential retail with 25 percent capacity; substantial retail trade with 50 percent capacity;
- Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times with capacity constraints;
- Open air cinemas and performing arts with capacity restrictions;
- Horse racing and motor speedways for spectators with limited capacity;
- Outdoor tour and tour guide with capacity restrictions;
- Indoor church services, rites, or ceremonies with a capacity of 15 percent;
- Public libraries with capacity limits;
- Water parks and outdoor amusement parks with capacity restrictions; and
- Trade fairs and rural exhibitions with capacity limits.
What’s in Step Three?
- Outdoor gatherings with larger capacity limits;
- Indoor gatherings with larger capacity limits and other restrictions;
- Indoor dining with capacity restrictions;
- Indoor sports and leisure fitness facilities with capacity limits;
- Indoor meeting and event rooms with capacity limits;
- Substantial and non-essential retail capacity expanded;
- Personal care services with expanded capacity and other limitations;
- Indoor cinemas and performing arts facilities with capacity restrictions;
- Indoor and outdoor religious services, rites or ceremonies with a capacity limited to a physical distance of 2 meters;
- Indoor museums and art galleries with capacity limits;
- Indoor zoos, aquariums, water parks and amusement parks with capacity limits;
- Casinos and bingo halls with capacity restrictions; and
- Other outdoor activities from step 2 onwards may be carried out indoors.