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Three-step re-opening plan relies on vaccination numbers

Ontario’s new three-step plan to re-open the province, announced today, will rely on percentages of people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

To start, more outdoor recreational activities – like golf courses and tennis courts – will be allowed to re-open May 22 and outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events will be expanded on Saturday, for up to five people – including driving ranges, sports fields, tennis and basketball courts and skate parks.

The current stay-at-home order is to expire June 2 but the province-wide emergency brake restrictions remain in effect.

All non-essential businesses will still be forced to stay closed until the province enters step one, and then be restricted to 15 per cent capacity. Schools across the province will learning remotely. Schools have been closed to in-person learning since April 19.

The three-step plan is expected to begin June 14 – to be confirmed closer to the date, by the government. The province will remain in each step for at least 21 days to evaluate impacts on key public health and health system indicators.

To enter step one, Ontario must wait two weeks after 60 per cent of adults have received one does of the vaccine. Health Minister Christine Elliott reports Ontario has reached 58 per cent and that it is possible to reach 65 per cent by the end of May.

Step One: Initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower.

• Outdoor gatherings up to 10 people;
• Outdoor dining up to 4 people per table;
• Outdoor fitness classes, personal training and sports training up to 10 people;
• Essential retail at 25 per cent capacity and can sell all goods (including discount and big
• Non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity;
• Retail stores in malls closed unless the stores have a street facing entrance;
• Outdoor religious services, rites and ceremonies with capacity limited to permit 2 metres
physical distancing;
• Horse racing and motor speedways without spectators;
• Outdoor horse riding;
• Outdoor pools, splash pads and wading pools with capacity limited to permit 2 metres
physical distancing;
• Outdoor zoos, landmarks, historic sites, and botanical gardens with capacity limits;
• Campsites, campgrounds and short-term rentals; and
• Ontario Parks.

To enter step two, 70 per cent of adults need to be vaccinated with one dose, and 20 per cent with two doses.

Step Two: More indoor gatherings up to five people, along with outdoor gatherings of 25 people.

• Outdoor gatherings up to 25 people;
• Indoor gatherings up to 5 people and other restrictions;
• Outdoor dining up to 6 people per table;
• Outdoor sports and leagues;
• Outdoor meeting and event spaces with capacity limits;
• Non-essential retail at 25 per cent capacity; essential retail at 50 per cent capacity;
• Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times with capacity limits;
• Outdoor cinemas and performing arts with capacity limits;
• Horse racing and motor speedways for spectators with capacity limits;
• Outdoor tour and guide services with capacity limits;
• Indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15 per cent capacity;
• Public libraries with capacity limits;
• Outdoor waterparks and amusement parks with capacity limits; and
• Fairs and rural exhibitions with capacity limits.

The final step begins when 70 to 80 per cent of adults in Ontario have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 25 per cent have received both doses.

Step Three: Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, includes indoor sports and recreational fitness; indoor dining, museums, art galleries and libraries, and casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits.

Larger indoor and outdoor gatherings will be allowed, though numbers were not specified.

• Outdoor gatherings with larger capacity limits;
• Indoor gatherings with larger capacity limits and other restrictions;
• Indoor dining with capacity limits;
• Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities with capacity limits;
• Indoor meeting and event spaces with capacity limits;
• Essential and non-essential retail capacity expanded;
• Personal care services with capacity expanded and other restrictions;
• Indoor cinemas and performing arts facilities with capacity limits;
• Indoor and outdoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings with capacity limited to
permit 2 metres physical distancing;
• Indoor museums and art galleries with capacity limits;
• Indoor zoos, aquariums, waterparks and amusement parks with capacity limits;
• Casinos and bingo halls with capacity limits; and
• Other outdoor activities from Step Two permitted to operate indoors

Today, the province’s science advisory table stated the province is turning a corner in the COVID-19 pandemic, but public health measures are still needed to ensure a “good summer.”

“We’re seeing increasingly positive trends and key public health indicators, and a steady improvement in our situation as ICU and hospital numbers begin to stabilize,” said Premier Doug Ford.

“While we know that now is not yet the moment to reopen, Ontarians deserve to know the path forward on what we will carefully reopen and when, starting with the settings we know are safest,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Brighter days are ahead and we believe this roadmap represents a path out of the pandemic and will encourage Ontarians to get vaccinated and to continue following public health advice.”

Click here for the full   roadmap-to-reopen

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