Outdoor recreation opens Saturday under Ontario’s three-step reopening plan

Ontario Premier Doug Ford gets ready to put his mask back on during a news conference on Thursday, May 20, 2021. The province has announced a three step plan to reopening the economy after a third wave of coronavirus. (Premier of Ontario/YouTube via Newswatch Group)

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced a “three-step road map” to reopening the province as the population is on the back end of a third wave of COVID-19.

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Ford cautioned it will be a slow and measured approach.

Most outdoor recreational facilities will open this Saturday, May 22, including golf courses and tennis courts. Outdoor gatherings up to five people will be allowed.

That will follow with the first stage with opening non-essential retail shops to 15 per cent capacity and outdoor gatherings up to 10 people and outdoor dining in tables of four, starting “around the week of June 14,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.

The second stage will be gatherings up to 25 people, the opening of personal care services where people can wear masks and indoor religious services with a 15 per cent capacity limit.

The final stage will expand indoor settings, allow larger numbers of people and deal with settings where masks can’t be worn.

Each stage will last at least 21 days based on public health indicators. No dates have been set for the second and third stages.

Each stage will also be tied to vaccination rates. In order to move to stage one, 60 per cent of adults will have had to receive one dose. For the second stage, it’s 70 per cent of adults partially and 20 per cent fully vaccinated. The final step will be 70-80 per cent partially and 25 per cent fully vaccinated.

Ontario’s stay-at-home order is still in effect until at least next Wednesday (June 2).

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