3-step reopening plan: What to expect in Ontario this summer

The Ford government’s “Roadmap to Recovery” is off to a promising start after the province announced Monday that Step 1 will begin a few days ahead of schedule, moving ahead on June 11 instead of the targeted June 14 date.


The Ford government’s “Roadmap to Recovery” is off to a promising start after the province announced Monday that Step 1 will begin a few days ahead of schedule, moving ahead on June 11 instead of the targeted June 14 date.

Premier Doug Ford announced back on May 20 that outdoor amenities would reopen with restrictions in place, revealing the three-step plan in the process.

As Ontario vaccinates more of its population at an accelerated pace, the three steps will be based on that supply and the daily clip at which people get the shot.

The province will also factor in COVID-19 case counts, percent positivity, and hospitalization rates.

As a result, each step will be in place for at least 21 days “to evaluate any impacts on key public health and health system indicators.”

“If at the end of the 21 days, the following 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 government said.

After the stay-at-home order expired on June 2, the Ford government hinted that the reopening plan could be jumpstarted a few days in advance, leading to Monday’s announcement.

Here is how the full plan looks.

Step 1 – 60% of adults vaccinated with one dose

In this step, now confirmed to begin on June 11, we’ll see outdoor activities resume with small, well-managed crowds.

The idea is to ensure that the risk of COVID-19 transmission is minimal, and some retail will be permitted at capacity.

With hospitalizations, ICU occupancy and new admissions going down, this stage will officially commence at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

Taking a look at some examples of businesses, concert venues, theatres and cinemas may open outdoors for the purpose of “rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted concert, artistic event, theatrical performance or other performance with no more than 10 performers, among restrictions.”

For personal training, fitness classes, and sports training, it will be allowed outdoors with 10 people maximum per session, each spaced 3 metres apart.

Will begin: June 11

Outdoor settings: 

  • Up to 10 people gathered outside
  • Up to 4 people per table (patio dining); with exceptions for larger households
  • Sports, training, and personal training: Up to 10 people
  • Day camps
  • Overnight camping at campgrounds and campsites, including Ontario Parks, and short-term rentals
  • Ontario Parks
  • Horse racing and motor speedways
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens with capacity and other restrictions
  • Graduations: The government is enabling school boards for “public and private elementary and high schools” to invite students back for brief outdoor end-of-year celebrations.

Indoor settings:

  • Religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted at up to 15% capacity of the particular room

Retail settings: 

  • Essential retail capacity at 25% (with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold)
  • Non-essential retail capacity at 15% (with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold)

Step 2 – 70% of adults vaccinated with one dose, 20% fully vaccinated:

Before this step can begin, 70 per cent of Ontario adults need to have received at least one dose, and 20 per cent need to have received both doses.

There also need to be more positive trends in public health, otherwise, the beginning of Step 2 will be postponed. In this stage, we can expect to see outdoor activities and gatherings increase in size. We’ll also see the resumption of limited indoor services.

Indoor cinemas will be closed but outdoor cinemas can open with some restrictions. As for performing arts centres, they will be closed indoors with the exception of rehearsing or performing a broadcasted event. All outdoor performing centres can open with some capacity restrictions.

Outdoor fitness classes and personal training will be allowed to have 25 people maximum.

Could begin: July 2 or later

Outdoor settings: 

  • Larger gatherings for up to 25 people
  • Dining for up to 6 people per table (patio dining)
  • Cinemas, performing arts, live music events and attractions
  • Meeting and event spaces
  • Amusement and water parks
  • Boat tour operators
  • County fairs and rural exhibitions
  • Outdoor sports leagues and events
  • Weddings permitted at capacity, limited to permit at least two metres of physical distancing

Indoor gatherings: 

  • Gatherings allowed for up to 5 people
  • Personal care services (barbers, hair salons, nail salons, etc.): Face covering must be worn at all times
  • Religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15% capacity
  • Weddings permitted at 15% capacity

Retail settings: 

  • Essential retail at 50% capacity
  • Non-essential retail capacity at 25%

Step 3 – 70-80% of adults vaccinated with one dose, 25% fully vaccinated:

If 21 days after the beginning of Step 2 public health trends continue to head in the right direction – and 70 to 80 per cent of adults have received their first dose with 25 per cent of adults have received their second dose – the province will enter Step 3.

This step will see the resumption of indoor services with larger numbers of peoples, such as cinemas, casinos, and larger religious services.

Both indoor and outdoor gyms will be allowed to open, with some restrictions.

Both indoor cinemas and indoor performing arts centres will be allowed to open with restrictions in place.

Could begin: July 23 or later

Indoor settings: 

  • Dining
  • Larger religious services, rites, and ceremony gatherings
  • Casinos and bingo halls
  • Meeting and event spaces
  • Sports, fitness and recreational facilities (Gyms)
  • Seated events
  • Attractions and cultural amenities
  • Museums, art galleries and libraries
  • Other activities from Step 2 permitted to happen indoors

Retail settings: 

  • Essential and non-essential retail open with limited capacity

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