Ontario's Gathering Rules Are Changing Starting Tomorrow & Here Are The Details

Indoor and outdoor gathering limits will be increased at every step of Ontario's reopening plan.

Ontario's Gathering Rules Are Changing Starting Tomorrow & Here Are The Details
Toronto Associate Editor

On Thursday, Premier Doug Ford announced Ontario's reopening plan, which will be rolled out in three steps throughout the coming months. While step one won't formally begin until around mid-June, some restrictions are being loosened just in time for Victoria Day weekend -- and yes, that includes outdoor gathering limits.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, limits for outdoor social gatherings and organized public events will now allow up to five people, including those from different households.

Outdoor recreational amenities like tennis courts and golf courses are also permitted to open on Saturday and can be used according to the new gathering limits.

Step one of the province's reopening plan, which will begin when 60% of Ontario residents have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, will allow gatherings of up to 10 people outside. Patio dining will resume at this point too and will allow up to four people per table.

Once 70% of Ontarians have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 20% are fully vaccinated, outdoor gatherings will expand to 25 people as part of step two, and indoor gatherings of up to five people will be permitted.

Step three will allow even larger indoor and outdoor events, but the exact limit has not yet been specified — indoor activities, including sports and seated events, can resume at this time as well.

Here's when stores, salons and gyms will reopen according to Ontario's plan

The province has released details about when various sectors, like fitness and personal care, can resume.

Retail stores will be allowed to sell non-essential items during step one of the plan, with in-person shopping allowed at a capacity of 25% in essential retail stores and 15% in non-essential retail stores.

Personal care salons, however, will not be opening until step two, at which point they will have to adhere to capacity limits. These limits will be expanded in step three when 70-80% of Ontarians have received one dose.

As for fitness, outdoor classes are permitted during step one with a limit of 10 people, and 25 people in step two. Gyms will not be allowed to reopen for indoor services until step three.

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor