Ontario will start economic reopening on Friday

Ontario will start economic reopening on Friday

Ontario will start economic reopening on Friday

Under step one, outdoor gatherings and organize public event capacity will increase from five to up to 10 people, non-essential retail can operate at 15 per cent capacity, essential retail can operate at 25 per cent capacity and outdoor dining can resume with four people per table "with exceptions for larger households".

Also opening Friday will be day camps, campgrounds, Ontario Parks, motor speedways, outdoor pools and splash pads and wading pools.

"As we begin to enjoy the benefits of the first step in our roadmap like meeting friends on a patio or visiting your favourite local store, please do so safely by continuing to follow all public health guidelines", Ford adds.

All public health and workplace safety measures now in place will remain in effect until the province moves to step one on June 11, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

The province is expected to stay in Stage 1 for 21 days, but there's reason to believe the government may cut that slightly short if the province's key health indicators continue to improve as they have been: the government would prefer to move to Stage 2 for Canada Day if at all possible, which is only 20 days from June 11. The province's situation is now exceeding the best-case scenario presented in recent modelling, which indicated the province would reach below 1,000 new daily infections by June 30, 2021, according to the release.

The president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said the news of an earlier reopening was long overdue.

It looks like Ontario may be headed into the first stage of its reopening plan as early as this weekend. "In order to guarantee that, the Ford government needs to do what the experts are telling them to do: offer everyone in a hot spot a second dose of the COVID vaccine right now". As of Monday morning, Ontario has met the first benchmark and is almost halfway to the second, with 8.9 per cent of adults having received both doses. Experts and critics have called for a new strategy that targets hot spots for the Delta variant, believed to be more infectious and causing more severe illness, for second doses. The province will monitor critical public health and health system indicators.

Hospiltizations have also steadily declined and as of today there are only 497 COVID-19 patients in the ICU, down almost 20 per cent from this time last week. "We now have over 72 per cent of adults age 18 or older having received at least the first dose of the vaccine but it's also the fact that our numbers in our hospitals have rapidly reduced", Health Minister Christine Elliott told CP24 in explaining the change in timeline.

Singh of the NDP also criticized the government for reopening the economy rather than schools.

"Operating at 15 per cent capacity will not immediately solve the cash flow challenges most small businesses face".

Kelly, however, said that he would like to see the province add more businesses to the list of those permitted to operate during the first step.

"We are still getting 15 to 20 cases per day".

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