Ontario is moving into Stage Three of reopening ahead of schedule.
Officials have confirmed that the province will be further relaxing COVID-19 restrictions and reopening more of the economy next Friday, July 16th; a full five days sooner than what was previously announced.
#BREAKING: Ontario will be going into Step 3 on Friday July 16th, sources confirm to Global News.
No capacity limits on retail, indoor dining or personal care, just have to enforce distancing.
Gyms, movie theatres, music events and museums capped at 50% capacity. #onpoli
— Kamil Karamali (@KamilKaramali) July 9, 2021
The reopening is thanks to the continually positive public health trends across the province, including vaccination efforts which are still going strong.
So what does a move to Stage Three mean for Hamilton?
The largest changes include the return of indoor dining with zero capacity limits, provided all of the tables can be spaced at least two metres apart and masks are worn when guests are not seated. Retail and personal care services will also have all capacity limits lifted, with masks and distancing in place still.
Indoor meeting and event spaces; indoor sporting venues and fitness facilities; and indoor performance venues such as theatres, cinemas, music venues, and more can now operate at up to 50 percent capacity or up to 1,000 people; whichever number is lower.
The same 50 per cent capacity limit also applied to indoor facilities such as casinos, museums, art galleries and aquariums.
Private indoor gatherings and events can go ahead with up to 25 people indoors, and capacities for religious services and ceremonies will also be expanded.
Masks and physical distancing will still be required for all indoor public settings within Stage Three, and select outdoor settings will also require masks.
Outdoor gatherings and organized public events will be allowed with a maximum of 100 people, and spectators for outdoor sporting events will be capped at 75 per cent capacity of 15,000 people maximum, whichever number is lower.
Outdoor amusement parks, fairs, galleries, landmarks, casinos, and museums will be capped at 75 per cent capacity or a maximum of 5,000 people for unseated events. Seated events will be capped at 75 per cent capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is lower.
Ontario will remain in Stage Three for at least 21 days and until at least 80 per cent of the eligible population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Once the province moves out of Stage Three, the majority of public health measures will be lifted.
Read more here.