Ontario lays out reopening plan after COVID restrictions

Ontario lays out reopening plan after COVID restrictions

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford has released a three-step reopening plan that will see outdoor and indoor activities and sectors reopen over the coming months. During a news conference on Thursday, the premier announced the three-step plan would be tied to vaccination rates and intensive care numbers.

A few changes to outdoor recreational amenities are expected to come this weekend, which would see golf courses and tennis courts reopen as early as May 22.

Outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events will also be expanded this Saturday, which will allow some amenities to be used by up to five people.

These amenities include driving ranges, soccer and other sports fields, tennis and basketball courts, and skate parks. No outdoor sports or recreational classes are permitted.

Here’s a breakdown of the province’s three-step plan, including information on when each step is estimated to begin, what will reopen, and what needs to happen for it to start.

Step 1 is to begin on June 14, and in order for it to start, 60 per cent of adults in Ontario need to have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In this stage, outdoor activities and gatherings will be first to open but with some restrictions and limits.

Here’s a full list of what will be allowed:

  • Outdoor gatherings for up to 10 people
  • Outdoor dining for up to 4 people per table
  • Non-essential retail at 15 per cent
  • Outdoor religious services, rites and ceremonies with capacity limited to permit two metres of physical distancing
  • Outdoor sports, training and personal training for up to 10 people
  • Day camps
  • Campsites and campgrounds
  • Ontario parks
  • Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways
  • Outdoor pools, splash pads and wading pools


Step 2 could begin in July or once 70 percent of the population in Ontario has received their first dose and 20 percent has received two doses.

In this stage, some indoor activities and gatherings will be permitted, and outdoor restrictions will be loosened further.

Here’s a full list of what will be allowed:

  • Larger outdoor gatherings for up to 25 people
  • Small indoor gatherings for up to five people
  • Outdoor dining for up to six people per table
  • Essential retail at 50 percent capacity
  • Non-essential retail capacity at 25 percent
  • Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times
  • Outdoor meeting and event spaces
  • Outdoor amusement and water parks
  • Outdoor boat tour operators
  • Outdoor county fairs and rural exhibitions
  • Outdoor sports leagues and events
  • Outdoor cinemas, performing arts, live music, events and attractions


Step 3  could begin in August or when 70 to 80 percent of adults in Ontario have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 25 percent have received both doses.

In this stage, the province would see rules around indoor gatherings finally unravel.

Here’s a full list of what will be allowed:

  • Larger indoor and outdoor gatherings (the province did not specify a limit)
  • Essential and non-essential retail, but with limited capacity
  • Larger indoor religious services, rites, and ceremony gatherings
  • Indoor meeting and event spaces
  • Indoor sports and recreational facilities
  • Indoor seated events
  • Indoor attractions and cultural amenities
  • Casino and bingo halls
  • Other outdoor activities from Step 3 will be permitted to operate indoors

Compiled by: FWH online staff