step 2 ontario

Indoor gatherings are finally allowed again as part of Step 2 in Ontario next week

Ontario is finally entering Step 2 of its roadmap to reopening in the coming days, which means new, less prohibitive rules for businesses, more options for activities and events, and new gathering limits, among other exciting changes.

As of 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30, residents will finally be able to have indoor social visits again, which in some regions — such as Toronto — have been completely banned since November.

In this second step, private indoor get-togethers and public events can take place inside, but with a cap of five people, while the same gatherings outdoors will be permitted with a maximum of 25 people.

These are some serious upgrades from the current Step 1 limits of 0 (unless they are members of the same household) and 10, respectively.

With some of the longest lockdowns and business closures in the world, Ontario is now boasting a vaccination rate of more than 76 per cent of adults for first doses and over 29 per cent for two, surpassing the province's own thresholds for enterint not just Step 2, but also the third and final step of our reopening framework.

Daily new case counts and ICU capacities have also plummeted, with fewer than 300 positive diagnoses across the province for each of the last three days and hospital admissions in the hard-hit urban centre of Toronto falling to levels not seen since September.

Along with the increased gathering sizes, residents will be able to enjoy the return of personal care services offered by hair and nail salons, expanded capacities in both essential and non-essential retail stores (and the reopening of malls!), bigger table sizes on bar and restaurant patios, outdoor fairs and exhibitions with restrictions in place, and more.

Lead photo by

Kelsey Chance/Unsplash

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