Ontario, Canada Moving to Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen Ahead of Schedule

On June 24, 2021, Ontario announced that with improvements in key indicators relating to public health and health care, and the provincewide vaccination rate surpassing targets, it will be moving to Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen ahead of schedule on June 30, 2021.  Ontario was originally scheduled to move to Step two on July 2, 2021.

Region of Waterloo to Delay Moving to Two

The Region of Waterloo announced, however, that based on current data and the prevalence of the Delta variant locally, it will delay moving to Step Two of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen for the time being.

What Will be Permitted in Step Two

As we noted when Ontario first released its Roadmap to Reopen, Step Two will, among other things, permit additional outdoor activities and allow limited indoor services to resume, provided people wear face coverings and adhere to other restrictions. The following will be permitted/open subject to the listed restrictions:

  • Outdoor gatherings up to 25 people;
  • Indoor gatherings up to five people subject to other restrictions;
  • Outdoor dining up to six people per table;
  • Outdoor sports and leagues;
  • Overnight camps;
  • Outdoor meeting and event spaces with capacity limits;
  • Non-essential retail at 25% capacity;
  • Essential retail at 50% capacity;
  • Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times with capacity limits;
  • Outdoor cinemas and performing arts with capacity limits;
  • Horse racing and motor speedways for spectators with capacity limits;
  • Outdoor tour and guide services with capacity limits;
  • Indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15% capacity;
  • Public libraries with capacity limits;
  • Outdoor waterparks and amusement parks with capacity limits; and
  • Fairs and rural exhibitions with capacity limits.

Conditions that Will Apply in Step Two

Once Ontario moves to Step Two, the conditions established by O. Reg. 263/20, Rules for Areas in Step 2, as amended by O. Reg. 488/21, will apply.  They include the following requirements:

  • That each person responsible for a business or place, or part of a business or place, that is required to be closed, ensure that it is closed; however, a business or organization may operate remotely.
  • That each person responsible for a business or place, or part of a business or place, that is permitted to open if certain conditions are met, ensure that it either meets those conditions or is closed.
  • That each person responsible for a business or organization ensure that any person who performs work for it conducts their work remotely, unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace.

Moving to Step Three

Finally, Ontario has indicated that although it has already surpassed Step Three vaccination targets, it may remain in Step Two for approximately 21 days to allow the most recent vaccinations to reach their full effectiveness and to evaluate any impacts of moving to Step Two on key public health and health care indicators. Ontario will move to Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen when it is determined to be safe. 

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.