The Ford government has announced a three-stage reopening plan tied to vaccination rates that could allow patio dining to resume and non-essential retail stores to reopen for in-person shopping as early as mid-June.
Under the plan announced on Thursday afternoon the Ontario government will begin permitting outdoor gatherings of up to five people as of Saturday while also reopening most recreational amenities, including golf courses, so long as individuals maintain a distance of at least two metres from other people at all times.
The first stage of the larger reopening plan would then begin two weeks after 60 per cent of eligible adults have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, or around June 14.
That is when non-essential retail stores could reopen at 15 per cent capacity and bars and restaurants would be allowed to offer outdoor dining to tables of no more than four people.
Small outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted during the second stage but indoor gatherings will remain prohibited.
The first stage will also allow day camps, campgrounds and provincial parks to reopen as well as outdoor pools and splash pads.
The second stage will begin approximately 21 days later once 70 per cent of Ontario adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 20 per cent have been fully vaccinated.
In that stage, the province will begin permitting small indoor gatherings of up to five people and larger outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people
It will allow personal care services, like barber shops and nail salons, to reopen and boost the capacity at non-essential retail stores to 25 per cent.
Virtually all outdoor activities will be allowed to resume in the second stage, meaning that amusement parks and water parks can reopen in time for the busy summer season and sports leagues can resume operations.
The third stage of the reopening plan represents a more full return to normal life but won’t occur until 70 to 80 per cent of adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 25 per cent have been fully vaccinated.
That is when indoor dining will be allowed and indoor fitness and recreational facilities can reopen.