The Ontario government will be reopening outdoor recreation facilities this weekend and has announced its new provincial reopening plan, which includes a “gradual three-step road map.”
Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the premier’s office confirmed the province would be getting rid of the former colour-coded framework in favour of a new system once the province ends its current stay-at-home order.
The new plan will take “a gradual and phased approach based on hitting vaccination targets,” Premier Doug Ford said. “COVID-19 remains a significant threat to us. New variants continue to enter the province every single day, but our vaccine rollout is accelerating at an incredible pace.”
The premier noted almost 60 per cent of adults in the province have received their first doses.
Health Minister Christine Elliott outlined the details of the road map, adding that the province is expected to enter Step One by June 14. The current stay-at-home order is set to expire June 2. In the time between its end date and the start of Step One, the province’s emergency brake will be in place.
In the meantime, outdoor recreational activities such as golf, soccer, tennis, basketball, and skate parks will be permitted as of May 22 and outdoor gathering limits will be increased to five people, Elliott added. Schools will remain closed to in-person learning.
Here’s what the steps will look like:
What it is: Step One of the plan will be focused on resuming outdoor activities with smaller groups of people and allowing retail to reopen with restrictions in place.
What it includes: In this step, Ontarians will be allowed to gather outside in groups of up to 10 people and dine outside at a maximum of four people per table. As well, retail deemed “non-essential” will be able to reopen at 15 per cent capacity with restrictions in place. Outdoor activities, including pools, splash pads, fitness classes, zoos and outdoor religious services will be permitted.
Vaccination level: In order to begin this step, 60 per cent of adults must be vaccinated with one dose.
What it is: Step Two would allow for a further expansion of outdoor activities, as well as the reopening of certain indoor services.
What it includes: In this step, Ontarians will be able to gather outdoors in groups of up to 25 people. Outdoor sports and leagues will be permitted and retail deemed “non-essential” will be able to serve customers at 25 per cent capacity.
Public libraries and personal care services will also reopen in this step, with COVID-19 measures and capacity limits in place.
Vaccination level: In order to reach this step, 70 per cent of adults must be vaccinated with one dose and 20 per cent vaccinated with two doses.
What it is: Step Three would allow for further access to indoor activities.
What it includes: This includes gyms, cinemas, performing arts centres, indoor dining and museums with limits on capacity.
Vaccination level: To reach this step, 70 to 80 per cent of adults must be vaccinated with one dose and 25 per cent vaccinated with two doses.
Elliott noted that Ontario will remain in each step for a minimum of 21 days before a decision can be made to move to the next.