The province of Ontario has announced a three-step plan to reopen the province. The first step will allow outdoor recreational facilities to reopen. The province will stay in each step for at least 21 days to track the effects on case numbers. The stay-at-home order will expire on June 2, but all non-essential businesses must remain closed until the province enters step one. Step one of the three-tier plan will most likely begin on the week of June 14, according to the Ford administration. It will allow sports fields, tennis and basketball courts, and skate parks to reopen.
Step One: The Ontario government will lift restrictions to lift on camps, campgrounds, and provincial parks, as well as outdoor pools and splash pads. The government said step one will focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds and where the risk of transmission is lower. Non-essential retail stores will be allowed to reopen with 15 per cent capacity. Outdoor gatherings of up to four people per table will also be allowed.
Step Two: The government said this step will allow for indoor gatherings of up to five people, along with outdoor gatherings of 25 people. 70 per cent of adults need to be vaccinated with one dose and 20 per cent vaccinated with two doses. Outdoor amusement and water parks can also reopen. Outdoor cinemas, performing arts, live music, events, and attractions can also operate again.
Step Three: The final step will see life return to normalcy for 70 to 80 perc ent of adults in Ontario having received at least one dose of the vaccine and 25 per cent having received both doses. At this point, the province’s rules regarding indoor gatherings would finally be unraveled. Larger indoor and outdoor gatherings will be permitted, though no numbers have been specified by the province. Indoor sports and recreational fitness, indoor dining, museums, art galleries, libraries, and casinos are also included in this step. Indoor seated events can be resumed as well. Schools in Ontario will continue to teach students remotely until it is determined that students can return to the classroom safely. Since April 19, 2021, schools in Ontario have been closed to in-person learning. The decision was made during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario. Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, stated that a number of factors will be considered when deciding whether or not to keep schools closed until the end of the school year. Premier Ford could not confirm whether or not schools would reopen in June, citing the need for agreement among his public health advisors.