Reopening Ontario: As the province moves towards a brighter future, so can you

If you planned on taking your career to the global stage with international studies, there has never been a better time to continue your pursuit of these ambitions. Although the effects of the pandemic can feel uncertain, your future does not need to be. With a careful reopening plan of Ontario and the college’s stellar career support and online services, students can set up a successful future with ease and without delay.

On May 20, the three-phase blueprint to reopen the province was presented by Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott and Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams.

Based on key indicators that determine if the province is ready to safely move ahead, officials feel positive about this roadmap thanks to an upward rise in vaccination rates, with each step subject to different restrictions and measures. With most Ontarians lining up to get vaccinated, eager for the province to open back up, we encourage students to do the same and remain steadfast in their ambitious pursuits.

The current stay-at-home order will end on June 2 as projected. Lockdown restrictions remain imposed on a variety of industries until the first phase of the reopening plan begins. 

Phase one is to begin once 60 per cent of Ontarians have received their first dose; officials project this phase to take place in mid-June based on current trends.

Phase one will allow: 

  • Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people (different households can mix)
  • Patios with up to four people at each table
  • Retail will begin reopening with a 15-per-cent cap for non-essential businesses, 25 per cent for essential retail
  • Outdoor religious ceremonies and rite with capacity limits and two-metre physical distancing requirements
  • Outdoor sports and training for up to 10 people allowed
  • Day camps, campgrounds, Ontario Parks, horse racing, speedways, outdoor pools, zoos, splash pads allowed

After a minimum of three-weeks, phase two is to begin once 70 per cent of Ontarians receive their first dose and 20 per cent receive their second dose.

Phase two will allow: 

  • Outdoor gatherings for up to 25 people, indoor gatherings for up to five people
  • Outdoor patio tables will be able to have up to six people
  • Non-essential retail capacity will be increased to 25 per cent
  • Personal care settings with face masks worn at all times
  • Outdoor meeting and event spaces, amusement parks, water parks, boat tours, county fairs, sports leagues and events, cinemas and arts venues will be allowed to reopen

After an additional three-week-minimum period, phase three is to begin once 80 per cent of Ontarians receive their first dose and 25 per cent receive their second dose. 

Phase three will allow: 

  • Large indoor, outdoor gatherings and indoor dining (without masks)
  • Greater expansion of capacity for retail businesses
  • Larger indoor religious services, rites and ceremonies
  • Indoor meeting, event spaces
  • Indoor sports, recreational facilities
  • Indoor seated events, attractions, cultural amenities
  • Casinos and bingo halls
  • Other outdoor, phase two activities will be allowed to operate indoors

With this roadmap we are optimistic there are brighter days ahead, starting with an open, safe summer. Ontario is already on its way to reopening: This Saturday, the province reopened outdoor recreational activities such as golf courses and tennis courts, helping Ontarians to safely celebrate the long weekend in healthy way. We encourage students to stay positive, prioritize their health and well-being, and take solace in knowing the investments they make in their academics will flourish.

We remain committed to monitoring the evolving situation and following public health measures as they are announced. For any questions, queries, or comments, please connect with Student Services at covid.support@torontosom.ca.