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Ontario announces Stage 3 of economic re-opening plan

Ontario license plate with the blue letters CAJA 723 on a white background
Wikimedia Commons

The Ontario government has announced it is moving to Stage Three of its economic re-opening plan. Once again, the move will come days ahead of schedule.

The re-opening will come July 16. The announcement comes just days after the government of Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the province still wasn't ready for Stage Three and just after a cabinet meeting.

In a statement, Ford said thanks to the efforts of frontline workers and the high rate of vaccinations, targets for re-opening were surpassed.

Retailers will be able to admit as many customers as possible, but still keeping social distancing. Indoor dining will re-open, as well as religious services and personal care services. Cinemas, museums, amusement parks, gyms and recreational facilities will be allowed to re-open at 50% capacity. Sport venues can host up to 1,000 people indoors and 15,000 outdoors.

But the province's top doctor, Kieren Moore, has a caution.

"Face coverings in indoor public settings and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout step three," Moore said. "This is because of the ongoing threat of the Delta strain of COVID."

Stage Three will last for at least 21 days. Officials said to move forward from there every public health unit should have at least 70% of its populations fully vaccinated.