The Ontario Government has announced it will enter Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopen almost a week earlier than expected, on July 16.
Step Three allows for the reopening of gyms and other fitness centres, as well as museums, galleries, zoos, casinos, bingo halls, concert venues and movie theatres. However, all will be under strict capacity limits. This last stage in the province’s Roadmap to Reopen also allows for indoor social gatherings of events of up to 25 people, or 100 if held outdoors.
Restaurants will be permitted to allow patrons indoors again, with no cap on the number of people per table.
Religious services, rites, and ceremonies will be permitted to resume with physical distancing in place, and this includes wedding or funeral services. Essential and non-essential retail will see capacity limits raised to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres instead of a hard cap on occupancy.
Face coverings and physical distancing requirements will remain in place for indoor public settings.
“Thanks to the continued efforts of Ontarians adhering to public health measures and advice, as well as going out to get vaccinated, we have seen most key health indicators continue to improve,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “However, the pandemic is not over and we must all remain vigilant and continue following the measures and advice in place, as the Delta variant continues to pose a threat to public health.”
The province will remain in Step Three for at least 21 days, or until 80 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 and up receive one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have gotten their second. As of Friday, just over 50 per cent have received a second dose.
Step Three includes the resumption of the following services:
- Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people, with limited exceptions;
- Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;
- Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, permitted with physical distancing;
- Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table, with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect;
- Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to open subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space. Capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less. Capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less;
- Indoor meeting and event spaces permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 people, (whichever is less);
- Essential and non-essential retail with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
- Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
- Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions, festivals, with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors;
- Concert venues, cinemas, and theatres permitted to operate at:
- up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less)
- up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less); and up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less).
- Real estate open houses with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; and
- Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and resto-bars, permitted up to 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less).