July 16 marks one step closer to normalcy in Ontario’s economic reopening plan as the province will move into Step 3 five days earlier than anticipated.  

Photo Credit: Guelph Wellington Seniors Association

The three-step plan known as the Roadmap to Reopen is based on the province-wide vaccination rate and improvements to key public health and health care indicators. As Ontario sees a decrease in cases and increase in vaccination rates as well as, key public health and health care indicators continue to improve, Ford along with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore move the target date up from July 21 to July 16.

Photo Credit: CP24

On July 9 Ford said, “Thanks to the tireless efforts of our frontline heroes, and the ongoing commitment of Ontarians to get vaccinated, we have surpassed the targets we set in order to enter Step Three of our Roadmap.”

The target that triggers Step 3 is 70-80% of adults vaccinated with one dose and 25% fully vaccinated. The target was more than met on July 8, as the province reported 77% of Ontarians aged 12 and over have received one dose and 50% are fully vaccinated. 

Step 3 allows for the reintroduction of large gatherings and the use of indoor spaces with restrictions. The list of permitted activities with restrictions include:

  • Larger indoor and outdoor gatherings and organized public events with a maximum of 25 people if indoors and 100 people if outdoors
  • Indoor dining with no limits on the number of people per table 
  • Essential and non-essential retail with limited capacity and social distancing
  • Larger indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services with capacity limits and social distancing 
  • Indoor meeting and event spaces with a maximum 50% capacity or 1,000 persons, whichever is less
  • Indoor sports and recreational facilities with a maximum 50% capacity 
  • Indoor seated events with a maximum 50% capacity or 1,000 persons, whichever is less
  • Indoor attractions and cultural amenities with a maximum 50% capacity
  • Casino and bingo halls with limited capacity and social distancing
  • Other outdoor activities from Step 2 permitted to operate indoors

Step 3 still remains firm on requiring face coverings when indoors as well as continuing to practise physical distancing. “While this is exciting news, we must still remain vigilant and continue to follow the public health measure we know work and keep us safe. Vaccines remain our ticket out of the pandemic so if you haven’t booked your appointment yet, please do so today,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott.