There’s some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel as the province enters step one of the government’s reopening plan.
Things like restaurant patios and non-essential retail are now allowed to operate, and outdoor gathering limits have increased to 10 with physical distancing in place.
However, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer, Dr. David Colby, is urging people to proceed with caution.
“This is a very incremental reopening, not a whole lot changes so my big caution is for people not to think about this as an either/or situation,” Colby says. “That we’re either open or locked down. This is a slight relaxation in some of the rules.”
What’s allowed in Step One of the reopening plan:
- outdoor gatherings up to 10 people
- outdoor dining up to 4 people per table
- outdoor fitness classes, personal training and sports training up to 10 patrons. No games or practices permitted
- essential retail at 25% capacity and discount and big box stores can sell all goods
- non-essential retail at 15% capacity and can sell all goods
- retail stores in malls closed unless the stores have a street facing entrance
- indoor religious services, rites and ceremonies including weddings and funerals at 15% capacity of the room
- outdoors religious services, rites and ceremonies including weddings and funerals are permitted with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres
- horse racing, motor speedways without spectators
- outdoor pools and wading pools with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres
- outdoor zoos, landmarks, historic sites, and botanical gardens with capacity limited to 15% for ticketed areas
- day camps
- overnight camping at campgrounds and campsites, including Ontario Parks
Things like hair salons and barber shops, outdoor sports leagues, and the performing arts are still being kept closed.
The province will re-evaluate the COVID situation in another three weeks. In order to reach step 2, officials say at least 70% of adults have to be vaccinated with one dose and 20% with two doses, and there need to be positive trends in public health and health system indicators.