Doug Ford says Ontario may enter Step 2 of reopening sooner than planned
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.
#ONTARIO should skip “Stage 2” in its #ReopenOntario plan and move directly to “Stage 3.”— Mark Towhey (@towhey) June 16, 2021
We’ll have hit all the #vaccination targets soon.
The “21 day waiting period” is to see what effect changes have. No reason to do stage 2 if we’re already at stage 3 vaccination standard.
"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.
Great to see so many Ontario mayors getting behind the personal services industry and calling for a sooner reopening. It's been far too long already. Let's speed up the plan and let Ontarians get a hair cut again.#onpoli pic.twitter.com/Yyy9HOeKNb— Ryan (@R_Mallough) June 16, 2021
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.
More than 200,000 Ontarians are employed by the beauty & personal care industry. It is also one of the most female dominated industries in Canada (81 per cent of businesses are women-owned/operated) & among the most severely impacted by pandemic. It’s time to reopen this sector. pic.twitter.com/6rsp5npRa7— Patrick Brown (@patrickbrownont) June 16, 2021
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.
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