Ontario is officially moving to Step 3 of reopening and here's what that means
Ontario will enter Step 3 of the provincial government's reopening plan one week from today, officials have confirmed, allowing gyms, movie theatres and indoor restaurants (among other things) to reopen five days ahead of schedule.
"With key public health and healthcare indicators continuing to improve and the provincewide vaccination rate surpassing the targets outlined in the province's Roadmap to Reopen, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is moving the province into Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 16, 2021," said the Premier's Office in a release issued by the provincial government today.
"Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Ontario’s health care partners, as of July 8, 2021, over 77 per cent of the population in Ontario ages 12 and over have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and over 50 per cent have received their second dose."
The threshold to enter Step 3 of the roadmap was to see 70 to 80 per cent of Ontarians 18 and older partially vaccinated, and at least 25 per cent fully vaccinated.
We well surpassed those targets as a province a few weeks ago, but Premier Doug Ford reiterated that his government will continue to push for as many people as possible to get their first and second shots as possible.
With key public health indicators continuing to improve and the provincewide vaccination rate surpassing targets, Ontario will move into Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen on July 16 at 12:01 a.m.— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) July 9, 2021
Learn more: https://t.co/A9PTciJJEr pic.twitter.com/Smy5EjnCwq
"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," said Ford on Friday.
As with previous stages, the entire province is scheduled to remain in Step 3 of the roadmap for at least 21 days — though Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore did acknowledge during a press conference this afternoon that things could progress even faster, especially once 80 per cent of people over 12 are partially vaccinated.
It's key to note that face coverings will continue to be required for indoor public settings in Ontario under Step 3 due to threats posed by the Delta variant and other strains of concern.
Below, per the province, is what will change when we graduate into the next step of the roadmap next Friday.
"Ontario has continued to see improvements in key health indicators, allowing the province to move to Step 3 of the Roadmap and safely resume more of the activities we've missed," said Health Minister Christine Elliott on Friday.
"While this is exciting news, we most still remain vigilant and continue to follow the public health measure we know work and keep us safe. Vaccines remain our ticket out of the pandemic so if you haven’t booked your appointment yet, please do so today."
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