Ontario moving to step two of reopening plan on June 30

TORONTO — Ontario will be entering step two of its “Roadmap to Reopen” plan on June 30, two days earlier than previously anticipated.

“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,” said Premier Doug Ford in a June 24 press release.

“We are proceeding safely with the reopening of our province and will continue to work around the clock until the job is done.”

Before entering step two of the plan, 70 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 19 were required to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 20% fully vaccinated, for two weeks.

According to the province, that milestone was reached on June 23. Seventy-six per cent of adult Ontarians have received one dose, and more than 20% are fully vaccinated.

Advancing into the second step also required improvements in “key public health and health system indicators,” meaning declining case rates and the number of people hospitalized in intensive care units across the province.

As of 12:01am on June 30, up to 25 people can gather outdoors, up to five people can gather indoors, essential and other select retail can accommodate 50% capacity, non-essential retail will be permitted to allow 25% capacity, personal care services can operate at 25% capacity, and outdoor dining with up to six people per table (more from the same household) will be permitted.

Indoor religious services, including weddings and funerals, will be permitted at up to 25% capacity of a particular room.

Outdoor fitness classes will be limited to the number of people who can maintain three metres of distance, and outdoor sports without contact or modified to avoid contact will also be permitted. Outdoor sports facilities with spectators are allowed to have 25% capacity.

Outdoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas, outdoor fairs, rural exhibitions and festivals will be allowed to have 25% capacity.

Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways will also be permitted to welcome spectators at 25% capacity.

For a full list of what can open in step two visit the government’s website.

Although the province has surpassed vaccination targets to move to step three of the reopening plan, government officials say the province may remain in step two for 21 days.

Officials say the delay will allow the most recent vaccinations to reach their full effectiveness, as well as to allow officials to evaluate any impacts of moving to step two on key public health and health care indicators.