Ontario moving into 2nd stage

June 24, 2021

Mark down the date.

Ontario will move into the second stage of its reopening plan on Wednesday, June 30, which is a few days ahead of schedule.

It means that hair salons and similar facilities can reopen with mask requirements and capacity rules, and limits on gatherings will be rolled back further.

Outdoor attractions like water parks can reopen, outdoor performances and team sports can resume and small indoor gatherings of up to five people are permitted.

“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 2 ahead of schedule on June 30 with the support of our public health experts,” Premier Doug Ford relayed in a statement today.

The changes will take effect at 12:01 a.m. next Wednesday.

That stage of the plan was set to take effect on July 2 but COVID-19 vaccination targets have already been surpassed.

Other health indicators have also improved since strict measures took effect in April to control the third wave of COVID-19.

With more than 76 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose, and 24 per cent fully vaccinated, Ontario has already met targets for the third step of the reopening plan, which will see indoor activities expand further.

But the province said it’s sticking with its plan of remaining in Step 2 for “approximately 21 days” so vaccines can take full effect and other health indicators can be monitored.

“While we can now begin preparing to ease public health measures … 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,” said Dr. David Williams, the province’s top doctor.

Williams held his final pandemic news conference as Ontario’s chief medical officer of the health today, joined by his successor, Dr. Kieran Moore, who will officially take over the job on June 26.

— with files from the Canadian Press

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