stage 2

Doug Ford says Ontario may enter Step 2 of reopening sooner than planned

Just as the case was for entering Step 1 of reopening, it appears as if Ontario may indeed be able to move into Step 2 sooner than expected or laid out in its roadmap system.

Premier Doug Ford confirmed the news to CTV News on Wednesday, revealing that he'll be meeting with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams — who is retiring from his position in a matter of days — to discuss potentially progressing into the next step earlier.

"I'll be sitting down with the health table and Dr. Williams, and we'll make that decision. But no one in this province wants to open up quicker than I do," Ford said.

There are a number of factors indicating that an early entry to the next step is likely, including the fact that new case rates have drastically lowered to levels not seen in many months, that the vaccination rollout has been significantly expedited, and that we were able to progress to Step 1 early.

Also, businesses, residents, politicians and health experts alike are now calling for an early date for Step 2 to commence.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown penned an open letter to Ford on Tuesday in which he stated that he "believes [personal care services] could reopen today."

He added that lengthy forced closures in such industries have led to dangerous "underground markets" where health and safety protocols are not in place, as they would be in salon settings.

According to the new roadmap to reopening, there must be at least 21 days between each of the three steps, which all public health regions will collectively graduate to based on vaccination rates, daily new case counts, ICU COVID admissions and other key public health indicators across the province.

This would have put the tentative date for Step 2 — in which gathering limits, retail capacities, and more expand while personal care, amusement parks and other operations resume — to begin on July 2 at 12:01 a.m., though we can now hope for even earlier than that.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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