Citing improving case numbers, lower hospitalizations, and a higher vaccination rate, the province announced today that it will move to Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
“Because of the tireless work of our health care heroes, and the record setting success of our vaccine rollout, we are able to move into Step Two ahead of schedule on June 30 with the support of our public health experts,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We are proceeding safely with the reopening of our province and will continue to work around the clock until the job is done.”
In order to enter Step Two of the Roadmap, Ontario needed to have vaccinated 70 per cent of adults with one dose and 20 per cent with two doses for at least two weeks, ensuring a strong level of protection against COVID-19. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Ontario’s health care partners, as of June 23, 2021, over 76 per cent of the population in Ontario ages 18 and over have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and over 29 per cent have received their second dose. More than 13.3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered provincewide.
Before entering Step Two, the province also needed to see continued improvement in key public health and health care indicators, including hospitalizations, ICU occupancy and the weekly cases incidence rates. After entering Step One, during the period of June 11 to 17, 2021, the provincial case rate decreased by 24.6 per cent. As of June 22, the number of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs is 305, including 10 patients from Manitoba, as compared to 450 two weeks ago. The province expects these positive trends to continue over the coming days before entering Step Two.
“Due to a continued improvement in key indicators, Ontario is ready to enter Step Two of our Roadmap, allowing us to safely and gradually ease public health measures while continuing to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Thank you to the Ontarians who rolled up their sleeves to help us reach this exciting milestone. Every dose administered brings us one step closer to the things we’ve missed, so please sign up to receive the vaccine when it’s your turn.”
Step Two of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of more outdoor activities and limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn, with other restrictions in place. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;
- Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 5 people;
- Essential and other select retail permitted at 50 per cent capacity;
- Non-essential retail permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
- Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times, and at 25 per cent capacity and other restrictions;
- Outdoor dining with up to 6 people per table, with exceptions for larger households and other restrictions;
- Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted at up to 25 per cent capacity of the particular room;
- Outdoor fitness classes limited to the number of people who can maintain 3 metres of physical distance;
- Outdoor sports without contact or modified to avoid contact, with no specified limit on number of people or teams participating, with restrictions;
- Overnight camps for children operating in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health;
- Outdoor sport facilities with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
- Outdoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas, with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
- Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways, with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
- Outdoor fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals, permitted at 25 per cent capacity and with other restrictions.
Public health and workplace safety measures still need to be followed.
While the province has surpassed Step Three vaccination targets, Ontario may remain in Step Two for a period of approximately 21 days to allow the most recent vaccinations to reach their full effectiveness and to evaluate any impacts of moving to Step Two on key public health and health care indicators. When it is determined to be safe, the province will promptly move to Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen.
“Due to the continued commitment of Ontarians adhering to public health measures and going out to get vaccinated, we have seen our key health indicators continue to improve across the province,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “While we can now begin preparing to ease public health measures under the Roadmap, the fight against COVID-19 is not over and we must continue adhering to the public health advice and measures currently in place to maintain this great progress.”