Ontario, Canada Announces it Will Enter Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen Earlier than Anticipated

Based on the provincewide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators, Ontario has announced that it will enter Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen (Roadmap) on June 11 rather than on June 14 as originally anticipated.  The focus of Step One is on easing restrictions with an initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower, and on permitting limited retail opening with restrictions. 

All public health and workplace safety measures currently in place will remain in effect until the province moves to Step One. When Step One begins, Ontario’s emergency brake will no longer be in place. 

Pursuant to O. Reg. 363/20 (Stages of Reopening) made under the Reopening Ontario Act (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (Act), all regions of Ontario remain in the Shutdown Zone of Stage 1 under the Act. Therefore, apart from the limited businesses permitted to be open with restrictions at Step One of the Roadmap, the restrictions under O. Reg. 82/20 (Rules for Areas in Shutdown Zone and at Stage 1), as amended on June 7, 2021, by O. Reg. 440/21, remain in force. These restrictions include that any business, or part of the business, not listed in Schedule 2 (Businesses that May Open in Shutdown Zone) or Schedule 3 (Places that Must Close or that are Subject to Conditions in Shutdown Zone) of O.Reg 82/20 (i.e., Essential Businesses), must meet the conditions or remain closed. 

A business or organization is not precluded, however, from operating remotely.  Furthermore, each person responsible for a business or organization that is open is required to ensure that any person who performs work for the business or organization conducts their work remotely, unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace.

The province will remain in Step One for at least 21 days to evaluate any impacts on key public health and health system indicators. Ontario will move to Step Two if at the end of the 21 days, 70% of adults are vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 20% of adults with two doses, and there are continued improvements in other key public health and health system indicators.

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.