Ontario is entering Stage 1 of COVID-19 reopening. Answers to your main questions – –

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Ontario's restaurant workers will receive COVID-19 vaccine in phase 2, officials now confirm


TORONTO – Ontario is entering Stage 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 scheduled to begin reopening on June 14, but Premier Doug Ford’s office said the situation in Ontario “was beyond the best of times.”

But what does going to step 1 mean? Here are the answers to some of the main reopening questions:

When does step 1 start and how long does it last?

Ontario entered Stage 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 to Stage 2 on July 2.

Does Step 1 apply to the whole province?

The Ontario government has moved the entire province to Stage 1, but local public health units have the power to hold their area. The Porcupine Health Unit is the only public health unit to extend the current pandemic containment until June 24.

Can I get together with friends and family now?

Outdoor gatherings and public events are now allowed with a maximum of 10 people. Indoor gatherings with people outside your household are still not allowed.

Can I go to a terrace or eat in a restaurant?

Patios are allowed to reopen in stage 1, with a maximum of four people at the table, unless they live in the same household. There is no limit on the number of tables on a patio, but officials have said there must be two meters between each table or group of people.

Restaurants with patios may resume their normal alcohol service hours, Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Indoor meals are still prohibited.

Can I buy in person now?

All retail businesses can now open with strict capacity limits. Core and other selected retail stores will have a 25 percent capacity, while designated non-core retail stores will be allowed to open with 15 percent capacity.

There are no longer any restrictions on what merchandise can be sold in an essential store.

Malls, however, remain closed to in-person shopping. Only stores with entrances facing the street will be allowed to open.

Are gyms allowed to open?

Indoor gyms and fitness studios remain closed, but outdoor fitness classes are allowed to resume with a 10-person cap. This includes personal training and individual / team outdoor sports training.

What is happening with the schools?

Schools remain closed to in-person learning, but the province has said outdoor graduation ceremonies would be welcome each year. Most school boards in Toronto and the GTA have already said they won’t be hosting an in-person graduation ceremony, choosing instead to stick with their pre-planned virtual celebrations.

Schools to resume in-person learning in September

Can I visit my chalet or travel outside my region?

There are no restrictions on movement within the province in step 1.

Can I have my hair cut?

No. Personal care services are allowed to resume in Stage 2 of the Ontario Reopening Plan.

Is camping allowed?

Yes. Ontario Provincial Parks will be open for overnight camping in Stage 1. Provincial parks are also open for daytime use, but 17 parks will require advance reservation in order to meet capacity limits.

What about summer camps?

Children’s day camps are permitted to operate as long as they follow appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols. Night camps are not allowed.

What are the rules for religious ceremonies?

Indoor religious ceremonies are permitted with a capacity limit of 15 percent per room.

Outdoor religious services, including weddings and funerals, have no capacity limit. Instead, the government has capped the number of people in attendance based on how many people can be in an area while maintaining physical distance.

And after?

In stage 2, other outdoor activities such as outdoor sports and leagues will resume and some indoor services will resume. Outdoor gatherings will be expanded to 25 people and indoor gatherings up to five people will be permitted.

Outdoor water parks and amusement parks will also open.

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