The Ontario government started the week by announcing that the province will move into Step One of the Reopening framework on Friday, June 11.
What can Ontarians do in Stage 1 of the reopening?
Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 10 people
Outdoor dining with up to four people per table
Outdoor fitness classes, outdoor groups in personal training and outdoor individual/team sport training to be permitted with up to 10 people
Non-essential retail permitted at 15 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold
Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted at up to 15 per cent capacity of the particular room
"Thanks to the ongoing success of Team Ontario’s vaccine rollout and the ongoing improvements in public health trends, we are able to enter step one of the Roadmap and begin to safely and cautiously lift restrictions," a statement from Ontario Premier Doug Ford reads.
"The only reason we’re able to do so is because of the enormous sacrifices made by individuals, families and communities across Ontario. As we begin to enjoy the benefits of the first step in our roadmap like meeting friends on a patio or visiting your favourite local store, please do so safely by continuing to follow all public health guidelines."
Previously, Ontario was expected to enter the first stage of the reopening framework on June 14.
At a press conference on Monday, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health, stressed that with 525 new COVID-19 cases reported on Monday, that is the lowest daily case count since Sept. 27, 2020.
"The numbers are continuing to show steady improvement," Yaffe said.
Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, said that he hopes to see daily COVID-19 cases come down below 500 this week and ICU admissions come down below 400, currently at 497 across the province.
Moving forward, Dr. Williams said it's imperative to ensure that Ontario moving into different reopening steps is sustainable, meaning the province will not have to backtrack at any point.
Following the announcement, Ontarians, including some health experts, took to social media to respond to the reopening happening sooner than previously expected.