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Ford Dropped Hints That Ontario Could Move Into Step Three Of Reopening Even Sooner

"Folks, just bear with us for a very short period, it's going to happen."

It seems that Ontario could move into step three of reopening sooner than anticipated, according to the premier.

Ford said during a news conference on Monday that he wants to keep moving forward with reopening as quickly as possible, and that we're "very, very close" to doing so.

"There's no one that wants to open up this province more than I do, we're very very close," said Ford. "We'll be sitting down with the new Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Moore, and we'll get his advice and if he gives us the green light, let's get this province open and start moving. I can't wait."

"I want to get things open as quickly as possible and I think it's going to come sooner than later," the premier added. "Folks, just bear with us for a very short period, it's going to happen."

Step two will begin Wednesday, June 30, and includes the reopening of outdoor amusement parks and water parks, outdoor sports games, personal care services and shopping malls at limited capacity, as well as expanded gathering limits.

According to the guidelines, the current start date for step three of reopening is Wednesday, July 21, which is 21 days after the start of step two. However, with Ontario meeting its vaccination targets ahead of schedule, the timeline has been accelerated.

Step three will allow indoor dining, indoor fitness and sports, as well as indoor attractions and cultural amenities like museums, art galleries and movie theatres. Casino and bingo halls will reopen, and larger indoor religious services including weddings and funerals can resume with capacity limits.

Fall will be the beginning of an endemic state in Ontario

Moore said last week that Ontario will enter the endemic stage of COVID-19 in the fall along with the rest of Canada, and that public health officials are doing all that they can to prepare ahead of time.

With the province's "brilliant track record" for immunization so far, Moore said that "we are making terrific progress in protecting our community, and moving from a pandemic to an endemic state where we can try to get back to normal."

The endemic state will mean that COVID-19 infections will still take place but the local impact won't be as severe due to many people being immunized either through infection or vaccination, according to The BMJ.

"It's very important that all Canadians realize that only 10% of the globe is going to have access to vaccines as we speak. We're so fortunate in Ontario and Canada to be leaders in being immunized," said Moore. "But, 90% of the globe is not immunized, and that's where the virus continues to circulate, where mutations will develop, and any returning traveller could bring the virus back into Canada at any given time."