Province moving to Step Three of Roadmap to Reopen this Friday
Tim Brody - Editor
The province will move into Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 16 as key public health and health care indicators continue to improve and the province wide vaccination rate has surpassed the targets outlined in the province’s Roadmap to Reopen.
“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,” said Premier Doug Ford. “While this is welcome news for everyone who wants a return to normal, we will not slow down our efforts to fully vaccinate everyone who wants to be and put this pandemic behind us once and for all.”
In a news release issued on July 9 the province shared that, “In order to enter Step Three of the Roadmap, Ontario needed to have vaccinated 70 to 80 per cent of individuals 18 years of age or older with one dose and 25 per cent with two doses for at least two weeks, ensuring a stronger level of protection against COVID-19. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Ontario’s health care partners, as of July 8, 2021, over 77 per cent of the population in Ontario ages 12 and over have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and over 50 per cent have received their second dose. More than 16.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered
“The province also needed to see continued improvement in other key public health and health care indicators, including hospitalizations, ICU occupancy and the weekly cases incidence rates. After entering Step Two, during the period of June 29 to July 5, 2021, the provincial case rate decreased by 23.3 per cent. As of July 8, the number of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs is 202, including three patients from Manitoba, as compared to 286 two weeks ago. The province expects these positive trends to continue over the coming days before entering Step Three.”
Step Three of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place. This includes, but is not limited to:
• 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:
o up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less)
o 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 restobars, permitted up to 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less).
The provincial government informed that face coverings in indoor public settings and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout Step Three. “This is in alignment with the advice on personal public health measures issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada, while also accounting for Ontario specific information and requirements. Face coverings will also be required in some outdoor public settings as well.”
The provincial government also shared that, “The province will remain in Step Three of the Roadmap for at least 21 days and until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have received their second, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent of their population fully vaccinated. Other key public health and health care indicators must also continue to remain stable. Upon meeting these thresholds, the vast majority of public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity limits for indoor and outdoor settings and limits for social gatherings, will be lifted. Only a small number of measures will remain in place, including the requirement for passive screening, such as posting a sign, and businesses requiring a safety plan.”