Reopening of Ontario starts Friday

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Province says public health indicators good

Restaurant patios and non-essential retail stores will be opening Friday as the province begins the reopening of the province in the wake of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, the province outlined what was necessary to begin reopening businesses . Ontario set a target of vaccinating 60 per cent of adults with one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for two weeks. It also wanted to see the number of patients in intensive care units down significantly.

As of Saturday, 72 percent of people over 18 have been vaccinated with one dose with 10 million shots being given.

There are still 497 people in ICU across the province, including 31 from Manitoba. That’s down from 687 at the end of May.

Officials say the province is currently exceeding the best-case scenario presented in recent modelling which said the Ontario would be below 1,000 daily infections by the end of June.

“The only reason we’re able to do so is because of the enormous sacrifices made by individuals, families and communities across Ontario,” said Premier Doug Ford in a news release.

Under the first phase of reopening, there will be gatherings of up to 10 people outdoors, restaurant patios can open for dining of four people per table and non-essential retail can open doors to 15 per cent of its capacity.

The province is expected to leave those restrictions in place for 21 days.

A guide to what’s open starting Friday
The province’s new guidelines for outdoor graduation ceremonies. Lambton-Kent District School Board says it will continue with its plans for virtual ceremonies.