On July 9, 2021, the Ontario government announced that the province will enter Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16, 2021, five days earlier than expected. Under Step Three, the following is permitted to operate:
- indoor dining with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect;
- indoor meeting and event spaces with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and capacity limited to 50% or 1,000 people (whichever is less);
- essential and non-essential retail with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two meters;
- personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two meters;
- museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions, festivals, with capacity limited to 50% indoors and 75% outdoors;
- concert venues, cinemas, and theatres permitted to operate at:
- up to 50% capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less)
- up to 75% capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less); and up to 75% capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less).
- indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and restobars, permitted up to 25% capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less).
A number of other restrictions will be eased under Step Three. The province’s announcement along with a full list of permitted activities under Step Three can be found here.
The province will remain in Step Three for at least 21 days and until 80% of the eligible population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75% have received their second, with no public health unit in the province having less than 70% of people fully vaccinated. Other key public health and health care indicators must also continue to remain stable. Upon meeting these thresholds, the vast majority of public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity limits for indoor and outdoor settings and limits for social gatherings, will be completely lifted. Only a small number of measures are expected to remain in place following the end of Step Three, including passive screening (e.g. posting signs at all entrances informing people to screen themselves for COVID-19 before entry), and having a safety plan for businesses. Face coverings in indoor public settings and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout Step Three. You can find our blog post on the province’s three-step Roadmap to Reopen here.
Employers should continue to pay close attention to the latest public health restrictions to understand how they affect their business. If you have any questions about what the current restrictions mean for your business, please contact our team.