I am reluctant to paraphrase the official media announcements from the government, however I have been asked so many questions in the past week that I am offering a “Coles Notes” summary on the Roadmap to Recovery. (Please refer to the Ontario government website for full details – https://files.ontario.ca/mof-framework-for-reopening-our-province-en-2020-04-27.pdf).

The stay-at-home order is expected to end on June 2.  The first stage of the Roadmap to Recovery is projected for the week of June 14.  Between June 2 and the beginning of Stage 1, the previous lockdown (“grey”) conditions from the regional framework will apply province wide, meaning that restrictions on indoor dining and retail operators will continue and includes those restrictions for recreation currently in place. 

The three-stage plan to reopen will depend on the province meeting vaccination thresholds: Stage 1 will begin when 60 per cent of the population over 18 has had at least one dose, Stage 2 with 70 per cent (and 20 per cent with both doses), and Stage 3 with 80 per cent having at least one dose and 25 per cent having two doses.

The restrictions lessen with each stage:

Stage One An initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower, and permitting retail with restrictions. This includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table and non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity.

Stage Two Further expanding outdoor activities and resuming limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn. This includes outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and leagues, personal care services where face coverings can be worn and with capacity limits, as well as indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15 per cent capacity.

Stage Three Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, including where there are larger numbers of people and where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes indoor sports and recreational fitness; indoor dining, museums, art galleries and libraries, and casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits.

In addition to vaccination thresholds, the government anticipates moving through the stages no faster than three weeks at a time. We’re not expected to enter Stage 1 until the week of June 14. In theory — if Ontario spends no more than 21 days each in Stages 1 and 2 — that could mean that Ontario will enter Stage 3 by late July.  

And of course, this is dependent on vaccination thresholds, ICU and hospital capacities and limited resurgence of new cases.  

Stay tuned, let’s hope for the best.  If there are changes to the timelines, I will keep you updated.

The light at the end of the tunnel is definitely brighter.