TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford held a press conference last Thursday to announce the province’s three-step provincial re-opening plan. Under the new plan, restrictions will be eased gradually though June, July and August based on vaccination rates and key public-health and health-care indicators.
The province will remain in each step for at least 21 days in order to evaluate any impacts on key public indicators. If at the end of the 21 days, vaccination thresholds have been met, along with positive trends in other key public health and health system indicators, then the province will move to the next step.
The current stay-at-home order will remain in place until June 2, with the exception of golf, tennis, basketball and other outdoor sports that re-opened across the province on Saturday.
Step one, expected to begin June 14, would see restaurant patios open to groups of maximum four per table. Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 will also be allowed and non-essential retail will be allowed to open at 15-per-cent capacity (essential retail at 25 per cent). This will happen when 60 per cent of adults have been vaccinated with one dose.
Step two, which will commence when 70-per-cent of adults have their first dose and 20 per cent are fully vaccinated, will allow larger outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, small indoor gatherings of up to five people and outdoor dining for up to six people per table. Non-essential retail can expand to 25-per-cent capacity while essential retail can move to 50-per-cent capacity.
Once 70 to 80 per cent of adults have a first dose (25 per cent fully vaccinated), the province will move into step three, which expands the re-opening into indoor spaces where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes indoor dining and indoor meeting and event spaces.