Some outdoor amenities will reopen on Saturday.
Some outdoor amenities will reopen on Saturday.

Some outdoor spaces to reopen Saturday

Stephen Jeffery
EAP
Gatherings of up to five people will be allowed outside in Ontario from Saturday, while tennis courts, golf courses, and other outdoor amenities will be able to reopen.

However, schools will remain virtual for now, and patio dining and non-essential in-person retail are not expected to resume until mid-June.

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Certains espaces extérieurs rouvrent leurs portes samedi

The provincial government announced a phased reopening plan for Ontario at a media conference on Thursday afternoon, which will begin with the opening of outdoor amenities such as golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, skate parks and other recreation areas from May 22. Outdoor gatherings of up to five people will be permitted on the same day.

A three-tier plan to further reopen the province, due to begin on June 14, would be based on the percentage of adults who had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. A gap of at least three weeks would separate each stage, to monitor the situation.

Under the first step, with at least 60 percent of adults receiving the first dose of the vaccine, non-essential retail stores will be allowed to reopen with 15 per cent capacity, outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted, and outdoor dining with up to four people per table will also be allowed to resume.

The second step, after 70 percent of adults had received one dose and 20 per cent received two doses, would permit outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports, and personal care services where face coverings can be worn. Indoor religious services would also be permitted at 15 percent capacity.

The third step, under which 70 to 80 per cent of adults need to be vaccinated with one dose and 25 per cent vaccinated with two doses, will permit further indoor services.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) will hold a media conference later on Thursday afternoon, where details on the local implementation will be outlined.