Moving Forward: A Look Into Ontario’s Three-Step Plan

What You Need To Know

With vaccinations ramping up, a gradual decline in cases and a stay-at-home order since April 8, Premier  Doug Ford in collaboration with the Chief Medical Officer of Health has come up with a three-step “phase system” to reopen the province.

Ontario is to remain in each phase for at least 21 days for evaluation before moving to the next phase and the government has said that the activities permitted in the lists in each phase is not exhaustive and will keep working on their plans. Here is our infographic guide: 

What is Open Right Now?

Before entering Phase One, Ontario loosened restrictions which began May 22. These changes include the reopening of outdoor activities such as basketball, golf courses and tennis courts but team sports and classes are not allowed.

Outdoor gatherings of up to five people are also permitted and individuals using the amenities listed above have to keep a two meter distance. These activities are to reopen if they follow safety measures.

Step One 

Before moving into step one at least 60 per cent adult Ontarians need to be vaccinated and there needs to be positive trends in public health indicators like hospitalization and case rates. The government projected that this requirement will be met and we will enter this step by the week of June 14 but due to cases dropping and 72 per cent of Ontarian adults vaccinated, the province will go into Step One June 11. Step one will see the resumption of outdoor activities with bigger but controlled crowds (gatherings of up to 10 people), outdoor fitness classes of up to 10 people and the reopening of non-essential retail at a 15% capacity. 

Step Two

Step two requires 70 per cent of adults to have at least one dose, 20 per cent of  adults with two doses and positive trends in public health and system indicators. Step two will be highlighted by but not limited to; outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor dining of up to 6 people per table, outdoor cinemas reopening and on-essential and essential retail increasing their capacity to 25 and 50 per cent respectively. Personal care services will also return with capacity limits and face coverings to be worn at all times.

Step Three

Step three requires 70-80 per cent of adults having one dose, 25 per cent of adults with two doses and positive trends in public health indicators. It will oversee a resumption of indoor cinemas and performing arts with capacity limits, the expansion of essential and non-essential retail capacity and outdoor activities from Step Two allowed to operate indoors.

As of this writing, Ontario is recorded the fewest single day case numbers for several days this week and the administration of second doses of the vaccine has resumed. Hopefully these positive trends will continue and Ontario can move forward in reopening. Lest we forget, do your part, be responsible in these times and wear your mask.