Gyms, movie theatres and indoor dining will finally reopen!
The third and final step of Ontario's reopening plan is poised to begin on Wednesday, July 21, three weeks after the start of step two.
Despite surpassing vaccination targets over a week ago to enter step three, Ontario's new top doctor Dr. Kieran Moore said it's unlikely that the reopening timeline will be moved up as the period in between steps is used to determine the impact of COVID-19 variants in hot spot regions. Premier Doug Ford, however, said that he wants to move forward with reopening "as quickly as possible."
While the exact date has yet to be confirmed, here's what you can look forward to once step three begins.
Bigger get-togethers will be allowed
There's no specific limit to the number of people that can attend gatherings and organized events during step three, according to the guidelines. "Larger indoor and outdoor gatherings" are permitted but will be subject to size limits.
Religious services and ceremonies, including weddings or funerals, will have expanded capacity limits as well. Indoor meeting and events spaces will open up again, allowing tradeshows, conferences and exhibitions to take place with size restrictions.
Indoor dining is making a comeback
Ontario is currently the only region in all of North America with indoor dining still closed but that will no longer be the case soon enough.
Restaurants can open up their dining rooms again during step three and will have to adhere to various restrictions. Buffets can reopen as well, and karaoke can resume indoors but with restrictions.
Outdoor dining can increase its capacity outside to allow two metres of distance between tables. The number of people permitted per table has not yet been specified for step three.
Gyms, movie theatres and more can reopen
Indoor sports and recreational facilities like gyms and pools can reopen with some restrictions in place. Personal training and workout classes can also resume inside.
Casinos, bingo halls and any other gaming establishments will be given the green light during step three, as well as art galleries, aquariums and indoor museums. Even strip clubs can open, as long as they're in alignment with performing arts and restaurant rules. Public libraries can open for the number of people that can maintain two metres apart.
Finally, communal steam rooms, saunas and whirlpools can open back up with some restrictions in place.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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