Here's the official list of everything reopening in Toronto for Step 2
Barber shops! Nail salons! Hair studios! Malls! Residents of Ontario will finally be able to access all of these things (and more) after months upon months of strict lockdown measures beginning next Wednesday, June 30 at 12:01 a.m.
Doug Ford's provincial government announced the news Thursday morning, confirming rumours that Ontario would indeed be moving past the first step of its three-phase, post-COVID reopening plan a few days earlier than expected.
We have the remarkable acceleration of vaccines being administered to thank for that; in fact, as of Wednesday, the province had surpassed its vaccination percentage thresholds not only for Step 2, but for Step 3.
Ford and company made clear on Thursday that, despite the early success of the vaccine rollout, we wouldn't be bypassing the second phase of reopening altogether. They did, however, leave some wiggle room for how long it will take to move into Step 3.
Under the existing Roadmap to Reopen framework, the entire province is supposed to stay in each "step" for at least 21 days before moving to the next. That didn't happen this time (we entered step one on June 11) and might not happen next time, either.
"While the province has surpassed Step 3 vaccination targets, Ontario may remain in Step 2 for a period of approximately 21 days to allow the most recent vaccinations to reach their full effectiveness and to evaluate any impacts of moving to Step 2 on key public health and health care indicators," notes a release from the government.
"When it is determined to be safe, the province will promptly move to Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen."
Under Step 3, we can expect things like indoor fitness centres to reopen and activities such as indoor dining to resume — but first, in the near future, we get to enjoy the freedoms bestowed upon us under Step 2.
Here's a non-exhaustive list of what's reopening and changing for Toronto and (most of) Ontario when Step 2 comes into effect next Wednesday:
"Due to the continued commitment of Ontarians adhering to public health measures and going out to get vaccinated, we have seen our key health indicators continue to improve across the province," said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams, who is retiring today.
"While we can now begin preparing to ease public health measures under the Roadmap, 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."
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