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Here's What Fully Vaccinated People Can Do In Ontario When Step Two Starts This Week

Gathering limits are expanding and fully vaccinated folks get special privileges.

Ontario is moving into step two of its reopening plan this Wednesday, June 30, and more restrictions will soon be lifted.

Step two will allow outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor dining for up to six people per table, and indoor get-togethers of up to five. However, people who received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will also benefit from the new guidelines released by the Public Health Agency of Canada last week.

Canadians who received their second dose at least 14 days prior can have other fully vaccinated friends over for an indoor gathering without masks or distancing and can even hug one another, according to the guidelines.

Fully vaccinated people can also do outdoor activities with those who are unvaccinated or only received one dose, such as attending a party or playing a close contact sport, without worrying about masks or distancing.

When gathering indoors with people whose vaccination statuses are unknown, those who received both doses can opt for a mask and maintain distance if they're "at risk of more severe disease or outcomes." Keeping windows and doors open is also encouraged.

Ontario will soon be releasing its own set of guidelines for fully vaccinated residents. "We are going to be releasing guidelines for each of the three steps about what people should continue to do because I know that people want to follow the rules and keep everyone else safe as well. So we will be releasing that very shortly," said Health Minister Christine Elliott earlier this month.

New travel rules announced for fully vaccinated Canadians

Earlier this month, the federal government updated the rules for fully vaccinated residents returning from travel abroad. On Monday, July 5, Canadians who received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will get to skip the mandatory hotel stay, the two-week quarantine period and a post-arrival COVID-19 test.

These rules apply to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, those registered under the Indian Act, as well as fully vaccinated foreign nationals who are already able to enter the country under the current travel measures.

Canadian travellers must have received the full series of any Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccines to be eligible for these exemptions. The Canadian government, however, is still advising against all non-essential travel at this time.