Stratford News Ontario to enter Step Three of reopening next Friday, indoor dining, gathering limits increase SHARE ON: Wendy Gray, staff Friday, Jul. 9th, 2021 (Image supplied by Vista Radio Digital). You’ll be able to eat in a restaurant again in a week. Ontario has announced it is fast-tracking Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopening five days ahead of schedule on Friday, July 16th. What that means is indoor dining will be allowed with no capacity limits just distancing measures and masking, gyms, movie theatres, museums, and zoos can open at 50-per cent capacity. Personal care can now do services where masks can be removed, religious services including weddings and funerals can resume with physical distancing, and you can now entertain 25 people inside or up to 100 people outside. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of our frontline heroes, and the ongoing commitment of Ontarians to get vaccinated, we have surpassed the targets we set in order to enter Step Three of our Roadmap,” said Premier Doug Ford. “While this is welcome news for everyone who wants a return to normal, we will not slow down our efforts to fully vaccinate everyone who wants to be and put this pandemic behind us once and for all.” Mandatory masking will still be in place in indoor public spaces as well as physical distancing requirements. In order to enter Step Three Ontario had to reach certain milestones of its vaccination rollout which it exceeded over a week ago. So far over 77-percent of Ontario’s adults have one vaccine dose and over half are fully inoculated. Other key health indicators continue to decline including hospitalizations, intensive care occupancy, and weekly case rates. Since entering Step Two Ontario’s COVID-19 caseload has dropped 23.3-per cent. Officials say they expect these trends to continue during the next week while the province remains in Step Two. Here’s what is allowed in Step Three: Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions; Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people; Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted with physical distancing; Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect; Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to open subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space. Capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less. Capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less; Indoor meeting and event spaces permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 people, (whichever is less); Essential and non-essential retail with with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions, festivals, with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors; Concert venues, cinemas, and theatres permitted to operate at: up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less) up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less); and up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less). Real estate open houses with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; and Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and restobars, permitted up to 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less).