Canada’s most populous province on Thursday released a ‘cautious’ three-step roadmap to reopen after a lockdown amid an increase in coronavirus cases.
The Ontario provincial government said it would phase out public health measures based on rising vaccination coverage and improvements in key public health indicators.
“As a result of the strict public health measures we have put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19 variants, we see a steady improvement in our situation as intensive care units and the number of hospitals begin to stabilize,” said Prime Minister Doug Ford.
“While we must remain aware of the ongoing threat posed by the virus, with millions of Ontarians receiving at least their first dose of vaccine, we can now begin the process of a slow and cautious reopening of the province in full consultation with us. audience. Health professionals. “
Ontario officials said the first step would be to resume outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower, and allow restricted retail.
“This includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table, and non-essential retail with a 15 percent capacity,” the provincial government said in a statement.
The second step was to further expand outdoor activities and resume limited indoor shifts with a small number of people wearing face coverings.
This includes outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and competitions, overnight camps, personal care where face cover can be worn and with capacity restrictions, as well as indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings with a capacity of 15 percent. Said the government.
Step three would expand access to indoor environments, with restrictions even when there are larger numbers of people and where face coverings cannot always be worn. This includes indoor sports and recreational fitness; indoor dining, museums, art galleries and libraries, and casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits. “
Toronto District School Board, Canada’s largest education authority with nearly 250,000 students, said the relaxation of the outdoor restrictions would usher in the reopening of sports fields, basketball and tennis courts for individual use.