Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday June 12, 2021
Ontario enters Step 1 of COVID-19 reopening
Ontario is entering Step 1 of its reopening plan three days ahead of schedule—a move that will allow residents to enjoy the summer weather with a variety of outdoor activities now permitted.
The province was supposed to begin reopening on June 14, but Premier Doug Ford’s office said that the situation in Ontario is “exceeding the best-case scenario.”
But what does moving into Step 1 mean?
Ontario entered Step 1 of the reopening plan at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11. The government has said it will wait at least 21 days between each step. This means Ontario will likely move into Step 2 on July 2.
The Ontario government has moved the entire province into Step 1, however local public health units do have the power to hold their region back. Porcupine Health Unit is the only PHU extending the current pandemic lockdown until June 24.
Outdoor gatherings and public events are now permitted with a maximum of 10 people. Indoor gatherings with people outside of your household are still not allowed.
Patios are permitted to reopen in Step 1, with a maximum of four people at a table, unless they live in the same household. There is no cap on the number of tables on a patio, but officials have said that there must be two-metres between each table or group of people.
Restaurants with patios can return to their normal hours of liquor service, Monday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Indoor dining is still prohibited. (CTV)