Step one of reopening is almost here!
Well, it's official — Ontario's reopening plan is starting a few days ahead of schedule, at 12:01 a.m. this Friday, June 11.
The provincial government announced on Monday that with 72% of adults having received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, Ontario can enter step one of its three-step plan, which includes expanded outdoor gathering limits, patio dining, non-essential shopping, and more.
Here's a breakdown of everything you'll soon be allowed to do, and the rules you need to know about.
Outdoor activities and gatherings
Outdoor public events and gathering limits are increasing from 5 people to 10, regardless of their household. This limit also applies to outdoor group fitness classes, outdoor personal training, and team sports.
Outdoor religious ceremonies, as well as weddings and funerals, can take place with any number of people that can safely remain two metres apart at all times. Indoor religious services can be held at 15% capacity.
Day camps for kids can open again as long as the camps are following provincial public health protocols.
Zoos, botanical gardens, and other outdoor attractions are also permitted with capacity and other restrictions. Outdoor horse racing tracks and motor speedways are allowed without spectators.
Patio dining will be open again, just in time for the summer heat.
Residents can enjoy outdoor dining at a limit of four people per table. That being said, there will be exceptions made for larger households, the Ministry of Health says.
Non-essential stores will get to open their doors again without restrictions on the items that can be sold, at a maximum of 15% capacity.
Essential stores and other select retail stores will be allowed to operate at a quarter of their capacity, with no restrictions on items sold.
Overnight camping and rentals
Anyone who has been itching to rent a campsite, short-term rental or cabin will be allowed to do so again, including the ones in Ontario's provincial parks.
This news will come as a relief to the people who had their getaway plans thwarted by Ontario Parks' frequent changes to their camping ban dates.
Concert venues and theatres
Concert venues, theatres and cinemas are allowed to open outdoors "for the purpose of rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted concert, artistic event, theatrical performance or other performance," the Ministry of Health states. No more than 10 performers are permitted at one time.