Ontario will be moving into Step 2 of the provincial government's reopening plan ahead of schedule next week.
As a result of the province-wide vaccination rate surpassing targets and improving health conditions, more restrictions will be eased, and more businesses will be able to reopen on Wednesday, June 30 at 12:01 am.
Initially, the province aimed to enter Step 2 on Friday, July 2, after entering Step 1 on June 11. The provincial government said each step was expected to see a minimum of 21 days in between. Additionally, 70% of adults needed to have one dose and 20% with two doses for at least two weeks before entering the next step.
However, as of June 23, over 76% of the population in Ontario ages 18 and over have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and over 29% have received their second dose. More than 13.3 million doses have been administered province-wide.
"Due to a continued improvement in key indicators, Ontario is ready to enter Step Two of our Roadmap, allowing us to safely and gradually ease public health measures while continuing to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
“Thank you to the Ontarians who rolled up their sleeves to help us reach this exciting milestone. Every dose administered brings us one step closer to the things we’ve missed, so please sign up to receive the vaccine when it’s your turn.”
Under Step 2, some businesses that will be permitted to open include personal care services such as hair and nail salons where face coverings can be worn at all times at 25% capacity. Outdoor dining will also expand from four to six people to a table.
Non-essential retail, without a storefront or street access entrance, will be able to resume -- also at 25% capacity.
Here are the highlights of what’s allowed under Step 2:
- 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 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.
This comes as Ontario logged 296 new infections Thursday, up from 255 on Wednesday but down from the 370 cases confirmed one week ago.