There is good news for construction in Ontario. As part of the province’s Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen, all construction projects will be permitted to resume.
On Monday, June 7, 2021, the government announced that the province would enter Step One on Friday, June 11, at 12:01 a.m. This decision was made based on the COVID-19 vaccination rate and public health improvements throughout Ontario. The benchmark for moving into Step One was a 60% vaccination rate for adults (with at least one dose more than two weeks ago). As of June 6, Ontario had administered more than 10 million doses, with a 72% adult one-dose vaccination rate.
Other statistics throughout the province indicate a hopeful trend. The positive case rate decreased 35.1% from May 25 to 31, and the province expects that its daily new infection rate will drop below 1,000 by June 30. The ICU patient total decreased to 497 on June 6, down from 687 two weeks prior.
The province will allow construction to reopen during Step One and stay active thereafter.
In addition, guidelines for outdoor gatherings and venues, retail services, and other activities will be permitted to resume during Step One. These include the following:
- Non-essential retail stores at 15% capacity
- Essential retail stores at 25% capacity
- Outdoor public events and social gatherings, limited to 10 people
- Outdoor religious ceremonies and services, including funerals and weddings, with no capacity limit, if attendees can maintain a two-metre distance
- Indoor religious ceremonies and services, including funerals and weddings, with a 15% capacity
- Outdoor fitness classes, limited to 10 people, as well as other restrictions
- Outdoor dining with restrictions, including four people at each table
- Day camps with restrictions
- Outdoor theatres, cinemas, and concert venues for rehearsals, recordings, or broadcasts, with a limit of 10 participants
- Campsites, campgrounds, and parks
- Outdoor attractions, such as historic sites, zoos, and gardens, with capacity restrictions
- Outdoor motor speedways and horse tracks without spectators
- Brief outdoor end-of-year celebrations for public and private elementary and high schools
Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott explained: “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. While this is exciting news and as we move to enter Step One of Ontario’s Roadmap, it remains critical that all Ontarians continue to follow public health advice and roll up their sleeves to receive the vaccine.”
During Step One, workplace and public health safety measures will continue to be enforced. These include capacity limits, maintaining physical distance, and wearing face coverings indoors and when physical distancing is problematic.
Ontario expects Step One to continue for at least 21 days. At that time, the government will evaluate the province’s progress and possibly move on to Step Two.