This is when indoor dining will be allowed in Ontario
Indoor dining is still not allowed in Ontario but many are wondering when it will start up again now that the province is in Step 2 of the 3-step reopening plan, vaccination rates continue to rise well past Step 3 targets and daily case counts and ICU admissions hit lows not seen for months.
Though many businesses are now open for the first time in months or have further expanded operations if they were already open, restaurants, bars and cafes will have to stick to outdoor patio service only (along with takeout and delivery) for the time being.
Though indoor private gatherings of up to five people — even more if everyone is fully vaccinated — can take place again, indoor dining at an actual establishment is not yet in the cards until Step 3. For those in some regions such as Toronto, indoor service has been shuttered since October.
Based on the framework and its "21 days between steps" rule, this would mean the earliest that could happen is 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 21.
Premier Doug Ford and his team have hinted on multiple occassions recently that the 21-day rule may be bent yet again for Step 3, but did not outright confirm that we would progress sooner, nor that indoor dining or any other activities outlined in that last and final step could commence any earlier than currently planned.
As residents will recall, we entered both Steps 1 and 2 a few days earlier than anticipated.
"There’s no one that wants to open this province up more than I do, we’re very very close," Ford said at a press conference this week in which he said further reopening was simply a matter of consulting with Ontario's new Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore.
Though Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott have indicated some flexibility around the "approximate" date for Step 3, it seems that our new top doctor is not on board with the idea.
"We need to be cautious, we need to be prudent and we need that 21 days to be able to understand the impact of opening on our communities," Moore revealed at a media briefing on Tuesday.
"I do think a 21-day interval is prudent and I personally dont want to see that shortened because we need to be data-driven in the face of this new enemy [the Delta variant]."
Jesse Milns at Peter Pan
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