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Ontario accelerates move into Step Three of reopening

Ontario accelerates move into Step Three of reopening

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

DURHAM/KAWARTHA: The provincial government is moving Ontario into Step Three of their reopening framework this week. On Friday, July 9th, the province announced, Ontario would make the move to this third phase on Friday, July 16th, earlier than originally planned by health officials.

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of our frontline heroes, and the ongoing commitment of Ontarians to get vaccinated, we have surpassed the targets we set in order to enter Step Three of our Roadmap,” Premier Doug Ford said in a statement. “While this is welcome news for everyone who wants a return to normal, we will not slow down our efforts to fully vaccinate everyone who wants to be and put this pandemic behind us once and for all.”

However, provincial officials also called for caution as the province transitions to Step Three.

“While this is exciting news, we must still remain vigilant and continue to follow the public health measure[s] we know work and keep us safe. Vaccines remain our ticket out of the pandemic, so if you haven’t booked your appointment yet, please do so today,” read a statement from Minister of Health Christine Elliott.

In Step Three, outdoor gatherings with up to 100 people and indoor gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed. Indoor religious services, weddings or funerals will be allowed, as long as they conform to physical distancing. Indoor dining can also take place in this step. Museums, galleries, zoos, casinos, amusement parks, fairs and festivals can operate at 50 percent capacity indoors and 75 percent capacity outdoors. Theatres and cinemas can operate at 50 percent capacity indoors “or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events.”

Masks will still be required to be worn in indoor public spaces.

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