The Lawyer's Daily is now Law360 Canada. Click here to learn more.

Ontario moves up start of reopening to June 11

Monday, June 07, 2021 @ 3:04 PM | By Ian Burns

Ontario will be moving into step one of its three-step reopening framework earlier than expected due to high provincewide vaccination rates and a decrease in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the province.

The province will enter step one of the roadmap at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, which will allow restaurants to offer outdoor dining with up to four people per table and permit outdoor social gatherings of up to 10 people. Essential and other select retail will be permitted at 25 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on what can be sold. Non-essential retail will be permitted at 15 per cent capacity, again with no restrictions on goods.

“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,” said Premier Doug Ford in a release. “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.”

Indoor religious services, including weddings and funerals, will be permitted at up to 15 per cent capacity. Outdoor fitness classes, outdoor groups in personal training and team sport training will be permitted with up to 10 people, among other restrictions. Outdoor horse racing tracks and motor speedways permitted to operate without spectators.

The Ford government had previously said the province would enter step one during the week of June 14. Ontario reported 525 new COVID-19 cases on June 7, the lowest numbers in eight months.

“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of every Ontarian, beginning June 11 we will be able to cautiously lift public health measures in the settings we know are safest,” said Christine Elliott, Ontario’s health minister and deputy premier. “While this is exciting news, as we move to enter step one it remains critical that all Ontarians continue to follow public health advice and roll up their sleeves to receive the vaccine.”

In order to safely enter step one of the roadmap, Ontario needed to have vaccinated 60 per cent of adults with at least one dose for two weeks or longer. As of June 6, 72 per cent of the population over 18 years old had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine with over 10 million doses having been administered.

Ontario will remain in step one for at least three weeks. If at the end of those 21 days the province has vaccinated 70 per cent of adults with one dose and 20 per cent of adults with two doses, and there are continued improvements in other key public health and health system indicators, the province will move to step two.

Click here for more information about Ontario’s reopening plan.

If you have any information, story ideas or news tips for The Lawyer’s Daily please contact Ian Burns at or call 905-415-5906.