Indoor masking to remain after Step 3

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / halfpoint

The Ontario government is offering more insight into what exiting Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen will mean for individuals and businesses.

No specific date has been provided but a spokesperson for Premier Doug Ford said they are sharing regulations to “provide clarity to businesses and the people of Ontario.”

The Ford government stipulated the province will remain in Step 3, which it entered on July 16, for at least 21 days or until 75 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine. In addition, no public health unit in the province can have less than 70% of its eligible population aged 12 and over fully vaccinated.

As of Thursday, over 80 per cent of the eligible population had received their first dose of the vaccine while only 68 per cent had been fully vaccinated.

Once thresholds are met most public health measures, including capacity limits for businesses and social gatherings, will be lifted.

Masks will still be required for all indoor facilities except while people are eating or receiving a service that requires the mask to be removed. According to the provincial government, this is because the Delta variant is currently the dominant strain in Ontario.  Where masks are allowed to be removed, patrons must be separated by two metres or by plexiglass.

Other measures that will remain in place will include the requirement for businesses to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to continue passive screening. For restaurants, that will include the requirement to collect personal data for contact tracing purposes.