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Ontario entering Step 3 early

The Ontario government is moving the province to Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopening five days ahead of schedule.

As of 12:01 a.m. on July 16, next Friday, the province will allow indoor dining, while gyms and many indoor tourist attractions, like casinos, will reopen.

In order to enter Step Three of the Roadmap, Ontario needed to have vaccinated 70 to 80 per cent of individuals 18 years of age or older with one dose, and 25 per cent with two doses for at least two weeks. As of July 8, over 77 per cent of the population in Ontario 12 and over had one dose, and 50 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of our frontline heroes, and the ongoing commitment of Ontarians to get vaccinated, we have surpassed the targets we set in order to enter Step Three of our Roadmap,” said Premier Doug Ford. “While this is welcome news for everyone who wants a return to normal, we will not slow down our efforts to fully vaccinate everyone who wants to be, and put this pandemic behind us once and for all.”

Indoor dining will be permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table, however physical distancing should still be maintained.  Nightclubs, where dance facilities are provided, will also be allowed at 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people.

Outdoor social gatherings and organize events with up to 100 people will also be permitted while indoor social gatherings are capped at 25 people.

Indoor religious services, funerals and weddings are permitted with physical distancing.

Casinos and bingo halls will be able to operate at 50 per cent capacity indoors along with museums, historic sites, and other tourist attractions.

Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities can operate at 50 per cent capacity indoors.  Spectators will also be allowed at recreational facilities at 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or a max of 1,000 people.

Concert venues, cinemas and theatres are permitted to operate at 50 per  cent capacity indoors or a max of 1,000 people and up to 75 per cent capacity for outdoor facilities. Seated events are allowed a maximum of 15,000 people while unseated events are allowed a max of 5,000 people.

Face coverings in indoor public settings and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout Step Three.

Step Three will remain in place for at least 21 days and until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 and 75 per cent have been fully vaccinated.  All public health units must have at least 70 per cent of their population fully vaccinated for the province to reopen.  Once these thresholds are met, most public health and workplace safety measures will be lifted. Capacity limits and limits on social gatherings will also be lifted at that time.

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