Ontario will start its reopening plan on Friday.
Hours after Ontario health officials reported the lowest single-day increase in new COVID-19 cases since September, the Ford government announced step one in its reopening plan would begin at 12:01 am June 11, allowing non-essential retail, patio dining, zoos and other outdoor attractions and outdoor fitness classes to resume.
The government previously said the first step in the three-pronged reopening plan would begin the week of June 14.
In a statement, Ontario officials said the province needed to have 60 per cent of adults with one dose for two weeks or longer before entering step one of the reopening plan. As of June 6, 72 per cent of people 18 and up had received at least one shot.
Other public health trends cited in the release include a 35.1 per cent decrease in the provincial case rate and a decline in hospitalizations. There are now 497 patients in intensive care units, including 31 patients from Manitoba compared with 687 patients two weeks ago.
Under step one, outdoor gatherings and organize public event capacity will increase from five to up to 10 people, non-essential retail can operate at 15 per cent capacity, essential retail can operate at 25 per cent capacity and outdoor dining can resume with four people per table “with exceptions for larger households.”
Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including weddings and funerals, are allowed with 15 per cent capacity “of the particular room,” and concert venues, theatres and cinemas can open outdoors to rehearse or record a livestream with no more than 10 performers.
Outdoor fitness classes and personal training, outdoor team sport training, day camps and overnight camping at camp sites will also be allowed.
Ontario will remain in the first step of the reopening for at least 21 days. During the second step, personal care services such as hair salons, small indoor gatherings of up to five people, outdoor cinemas and concert venues, amusement parks and public libraries will be able to reopen.
Here is a list of some restrictions that will lift on June 11, per the government’s news release:
- Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 10 people;
- Outdoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, capped at the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
- Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted at up to 15 per cent capacity of the particular room;
- Non-essential retail permitted at 15 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold;
- Essential and other select retail permitted at 25 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold;
- Outdoor dining with up to four people per table, with exceptions for larger households;
- Outdoor fitness classes, outdoor groups in personal training and outdoor individual/team sport training to be permitted with up to 10 people, among other restrictions;
- Day camps for children permitted to operate in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines for COVID-19 produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health;
- Overnight camping at campgrounds and campsites, including Ontario Parks, and short-term rentals;
- 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 other restrictions;
- Outdoor horse racing tracks and motor speedways permitted to operate without spectators; and
- Outdoor attractions such as zoos, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens with capacity and other restrictions.