Our province is part-way through its re-opening process, entering Step 2 a couple days early. People are once again getting haircuts, shopping in the mall, and gathering socially indoors.
It’s a move toward business as usual, but we still have a long way to go.
Here’s a quick recap of some of the changes:
• Outdoor gatherings
increase from 10 to 25 people
• Indoor social gatherings and public events for up to 5 people
• Outdoor dining increases from 4 to 6 people per table
• Essential retail is open to 50% capacity, non-essential to 25%
• Shopping malls have re-opened
• Outdoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies,
including wedding services and funeral services, capped at the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres
• Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times at 25% capacity
• Outdoor fitness classes are capped at the number of people who can maintain 3 metres of distance
• Outdoor meeting and event spaces at 25% capacity
• Outdoor amusement and water parks at 25% capacity
• Outdoor sports games, leagues and events at 25% capacity
• Outdoor cinemas,
performing arts, live music events and attractions at 25% capacity
• Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways at 25% capacity
For the full Step 2 details, visit Ontario.ca
According to the Roadmap to Reopen, we now wait another 3 weeks to move to Step 3. With the move to Step 2 bumped two days ahead of schedule, there is speculation about the move to the final step. Ontario has already achieved the vaccination targets required for Step 3.
Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, released a statement regarding the reopening steps:
“Many businesses – particularly small business and those in industries hit
hardest by the crisis – continue to struggle to survive as they operate under extremely strict regulations. As the indispensable partner of business, we have continued to call for evidence-based metrics for reopening Ontario’s economy as we work together towards a steady, robust, and inclusive recovery.”
“The facts are clear about Ontario’s reopening plan: we have achieved benchmarks for Step Three, yet we are taking a modest earlier move into Step 2. With nearly one-third of Ontarians fully vaccinated and our positivity rate dropping to the lowest since early Fall, we urge government to closely monitor the indicators for reopening so we can confidently move to the next stage of a safe reopening of our economy sooner than anticipated. Continued supports, such as an additional round of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, will be critical to help keep businesses afloat.”
We urge everyone who is eligible and able to please get vaccinated. Do it for yourself, your loved ones, and for your favourite local businesses whose ability to operate depends heavily on our collective ability to beat this virus.