As COVID-19 numbers continue to improve and vaccination rates have surpassed the province's targets, the Government of Ontario announced today that the province will move to Step Three of its reopening plan at 12:01 AM on Friday, July 16. Among the activities that will be permitted:
Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions;
Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;
Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services with physical distancing;
Indoor dining with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect;
Indoor sports and recreational fitness operating subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space.
Face coverings in indoor public settings and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout Step Three.
Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, also predicted that a Step Four, or return to some semblance of pre-pandemic life, could come as early as August 6. This would require 80% of everyone age 12 and up in Ontario to have received at least one shot of vaccine, with 70% of the population fully vaccinated. As of this morning, 78.1% of Ontarians had received first shots and 50.4% were fully vaccinated.