A Look at COVID-19 Reopening Plans Across the Country

As COVID-19 vaccination rates increase and case numbers drop across the country, the provinces and territories have begun releasing the reopening plans for businesses, events and recreational facilities. Most of the plans are based on each jurisdiction reaching vaccination targets at certain dates, while also keeping the number of cases and hospitalizations down. Here’s a look at what reopening plans look like across the country:

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Requirements for testing and self-isolation lift entirely for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers on Canada Day
  • If case counts, hospitalization and vaccination targets are met, the province expects to reopen dance floors as early as Aug. 15, and lift capacity restrictions on businesses, restaurants and lounges while maintaining physical distancing between tables
  • As early as Sept. 15, mask requirements for indoor public spaces would be reviewed

Nova Scotia

  • Currently in Phase 2 which allows a 50% customer capacity for retail stores and increased gathering limits
  • All public and private schools have reopened
  • A limit of 10 people gathering informally indoors is in place, and up to 25 people are allowed to gather informally outdoors without social distancing
  • Festivals and special events may take place at 25% capacity with a max. of 50 people indoors and 75 people outdoors with social distancing.
  • Indoor and outdoor restaurant dining is allowed until 11pm with a max. of 10 people per table
  • Hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments are open by appointment only

New Brunswick

  • In Phase 2 of its reopening plan
  • Premier Blaine Higgs says the change opens travel without the need to isolate to all of Nova Scotia after opening to P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Travellers from elsewhere in Canada who’ve had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed into the province without the need to isolate
  • Other changes allow restaurants, gyms and salons to operate at full capacity as long as customer contact lists are kept.
  • In Phase 3 all COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted

Prince Edward Island

  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings can have up to 20 people 
  • Restaurants can have tables of up to 20
  • Special occasion events like backyard weddings and anniversary parties of up to 50 people hosted by individuals are permitted
  • The province projects that on July 18, its non-medical mask requirement will ease, and organized gatherings hosted by a business or other organization will be permitted with groups of up to 200 people outdoors or 100 people indoors
  • On Sept. 12, the province expects physical distancing measures to be eased and gatherings will no longer have limits 

Quebec

  • Three more regions in Quebec have moved into the green level that allows them to relax restrictions including limits on gatherings in homes, which can host up to 10 people from three different addresses
  • Montreal and several other regions have moved to yellow, permitting indoor gatherings with members of another household, the resumption of outdoor team sports and expanded capacity for weddings, funerals and religious services. Bars in yellow zones can have 50% capacity
  • Quebec ended its nightly curfew on May 28 and allowed restaurant patios to open as well as limited outdoor gatherings on private property

Ontario

  • As of June 30 outdoor concerts, open-air movie screens and performing arts shows will be opened at a max capacity of 25% of outdoor space/seating
  • Live streaming shows are permitted; however, the performances cannot host any spectators
  • Indoor venues can hold band rehearsals with certain distancing and safety measures in place.
  • Film and TV industry will see its restrictions lowered though studio audiences are still not allowed
  • Indoor cinemas and public concerts still won’t be permitted with capacity restrictions until the third stage.

Manitoba

  • Currently in the first step of its reopening plan
  • Restaurants and bars will be limited to 25% capacity indoors and 50% on patios
  • Hair salons, gyms and indoor sports can resume operating, with capacity restrictions
  • Hair and nail salons, and barber shops are open by appointment only
  • Outdoor gatherings on private property will be capped at 10 people and groups in public areas will be limited to 25
  • The number of worshippers at faith services will also be capped
  • Businesses, such as casinos and movie theatres, will remain closed

Saskatchewan

  • All public health orders will be removed as of Sunday, July 11 — and that includes the removal of the province-wide mandatory masking order, as well as capacity limits on events and gathering sizes
  • Currently, large retailers must reduce the capacity of their stores to 25%, while other retailers must cut their capacity to 50%
  • Restaurants and bars must maintain two metres of physical distance between tables or erect a structural barrier between tables if distancing isn’t possible and tables are limited to six people
  • Dance floors and buffets remain closed
  • Places of worship are allowed up to 30% capacity or 150 people, whichever is less
  • A maximum of 30 people are allowed to attend gatherings at banquet and conference facilities, which includes wedding and funeral receptions, however no food or beverages are allowed
  • A maximum of 30 people are allowed in a movie theatre or live theatre performance, but staff and customers must be able to maintain two metres of physical distance

Alberta

  • Outdoor social gatherings of up to 20 people 
  • Indoor recreation, entertainment and other settings can open at one-third of fire code occupancy
  • Places of worship can open to one-third capacity
  • Restaurants are allowed up to six people per table, indoors or outdoors
  • Youth activities have resumed 
  • Outdoor public gatherings, such as concerts and festivals, are allowed with up to 150 people
  • A work-from-home order has been lifted, but it is still recommended.
  • All remaining restrictions will lift on July 1. Anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 will still be required to self-isolate and protective measures at continuing care centres may remain. The overall requirement for masks in public indoor spaces will end, but masks will likely still be required in taxis, on public transit and on ride shares.

British Columbia

  • Seated gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed at banquet halls, movie theatres and theatre performances
  • High-intensity fitness classes are allowed
  • Bars can serve liquor until midnight.
  • Indoor faith gatherings are allowed with a maximum of 50 people or 10% capacity
  • Recreational travel within B.C. is allowed, out of province travel is discouraged
  • Rules for masks and physical distancing remain in place.

Nunavut

  • Public health orders affecting what is allowed to open vary by community.
  • In Iqaluit, travel to the community is restricted to residents, medical officials and critical workers, as well as those who have authorization for a compassionate exemption. Outdoor gatherings are restricted to 25 people, while indoor gatherings are restricted to a household plus five people.
  • Kinngait and Rankin Inlet, outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people and those indoors are restricted to a household plus 15 people. Restaurants and bars are allowed to open for regular business at 50% capacity, with no more than six people seated or around each table.

Northwest Territories

  • Up to 25 people are allowed in a business 
  • Households can have up to 10 people with a maximum of five guests from another household
  • Non-essential travel outside the territory is not recommended, and leisure travel into the territory is not permitted.

Yukon

  • Bars and restaurants can have full capacity
  • Social bubbles have increased to 20 people
  • Social gatherings indoors of up to 20 people are allowed while outdoors up to 100 people can gather
  • Organized gatherings, such as festivals or weddings, of up to 200 people are allowed
  • Camp and recreational programs are allowed to have 20 participants indoors; and 100 participants outdoors with physical distancing
  • Gyms and recreation centres can operate with up to 200 people 

Source: Toronto Star


Alberta Moves to Stage 3 of Reopening Plan on Canada Day

Alberta will move to the third stage of its reopening plan on July 1, meaning nearly all health measures will be lifted, Premier Jason Kenney has announced. Indoor social gatherings will once again be allowed and there will be no limit on the size of outdoor events. Restaurants, bars and retail outlets will once again be able to run at full capacity. The provincial mask mandate will also be lifted but masks will still be required in some settings, including while on public transit and while inside city-owned buildings. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will still have to quarantine.

“This is an important milestone and a great achievement, but we will not stop here,” said Kenney. “We will keep administering first and second doses as quickly as possible so we’re not just open for summer, but open for good.”

The province says 70.2% of eligible Albertans — those age 12 and up — have now received a first dose and more than 25% have received a second dose. The province is also speeding up the timeline for when Albertans can get a second dose and everyone age 12 and up is now eligible.

There are currently 2,471 active cases in Alberta, which is the lowest number since the beginning of October, said Kenney, and marks a 61% drop since the start of Stage 1 of reopening earlier this year. The number of hospitalizations has fallen 45% since the start of Stage 1, said Kenney, and the number of people in ICU has dropped 53%.

Reaching the 70% vaccination milestone means the deadline for the $1 million Open For Summer Lottery will be 11:59 p.m. on June 24.  Everyone age 18 and older can register at www.alberta.ca/lottery and you must have received a vaccination to claim a prize.

There will be two more $1 million draws and 40 travel prizes offered by WestJet and Air Canada in August and September as part of the effort to encourage Albertans to get immunized. Kenney has said entry in those draws will be tied to second doses of vaccinations.

Source: CTV News


Ford, Cabinet Considering Moving Ontario Into Next Phase of COVID-19 Reopening 2 Days Early

What’s allowed when Ontario enters Step 2 of its COVID-19 reopening plan

Ontario will move into the next stage of its reopening plan on June 30, allowing small indoor gatherings to occur and personal care services to resume for the first time in months. The province was originally scheduled to move to Step 2 on July 2, but, citing declining case counts and hospitalizations related to COVID-19, the government decided to move forward a few days earlier.

Here’s a full list of what will be allowed as of June 30:

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people
  • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to five people
  • Essential and other select retail permitted at 50% capacity
  • Non-essential retail permitted at 25% capacity
  • Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times can resume at 25% capacity
  • Outdoor dining with up to six people per table, with exceptions for larger households
  • Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding and funerals, permitted at up to 25% capacity per room
  • Outdoor fitness classes limited to the number of people who can maintain three metres of physical distance
  • Outdoor sports without contact or modified to avoid contact, with no specified limit on number of people or teams participating, with restrictions
  • Overnight camps for children operating in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • Outdoor sport facilities with spectators permitted at 25% capacity
  • Outdoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas, with spectators permitted at 25% capacity
  • Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways, with spectators permitted at 25% capacity
  • Outdoor fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals, permitted at 25% capacity and with other restrictions

Source: CTV


Quebec to Loosen More Restrictions as All Regions Set to Go Green

With COVID-19 cases trending downward and vaccination rates on the rise, life across the province is expected to feel considerably more normal than it has in a long while. As of June 28, the entirety of Quebec has officially entered the lowest alert level of the province’s colour-coded system, which allows for more relaxed restrictions on social gatherings and group sports. As of June 25, people who are fully vaccinated (received two doses) no longer need to wear a mask or keep a distance of two metres during gatherings inside private residences.

While the pandemic is not quite over yet, as Canada’s health agency is warning of a possible spike in cases come fall if the Delta variant takes hold, Quebecers are getting some respite this summer after a challenging few months. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect as the province reopens. 

Gatherings inside/outside at private residences

A maximum of 10 people from different households, or all the occupants from three different households, are allowed to gather inside private residences. Physical distancing and wearing masks is recommended for people who have not received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. For backyards and balconies, a maximum of 20 people from different households are permitted to gather. 

Restaurant and bar capacity

Inside both restaurants and bars, a maximum of 10 people or three private residences can share the same table. Up to 20 people can dine together at a table on an outdoor terrace or patio. Restaurants and bars to serve alcohol until midnight and to close at 2 a.m. Health restrictions still remain in place at bars, including a ban on singing and dancing. A distance of two metres between tables must also be kept, and clients must remain seated at their tables. Bars must also still limit themselves to 50% of the maximum capacity provided for in their liquor license.

Weddings and funerals

Wedding ceremonies and funerals can now accommodate 250 people, all of whom must remain seated during the event and keep a distance of at least two metres from others, unless they are from the same household. The wedding reception, if held indoors, is limited to 25 people, and 50 people outdoors. For regular services, places of worship can still only accept up to 250 people.

Festivals and major events

Auditoriums and indoor stadiums with assigned seating are allowed to present shows and sporting events before an audience of up to 3,500 people (yes, that includes the Bell Centre for Stanley Cup finals series). Spectators must be subdivided into sections with a cap of 250 people and distancing of 1.5 metres from people outside your household must be observed. Masks are mandatory in indoor events, but may be removed once seated.

As of June 25, outdoor events were allowed to start admitting up to 3,500 attendees while enforcing physical distancing between people from different households and with no separate sections. Festivals and major outdoor events where spectators are standing or sitting with no assigned seating can be held, subject to compliance with specific health measures. For organized activities outdoors in a public space, up to 50 people are allowed. For rental halls or indoor public settings, a maximum of 25 people are allowed and masks are mandatory. 

Organized sports

Fifty players are now allowed for outdoor sports and recreational activities, including guided lessons and training. This number excludes any officials, staff or volunteers. Organized games and matches as well as leagues, competitions and tournaments are also permitted, with 50 spectators allowed to watch the same match or game. For indoor sports, the limit is 25 players and 25 spectators. Physical distancing guidelines must be respected as much as possible. Participants can come into contact or be in close proximity, if done briefly and infrequently. 

Fitness centres

In fitness centres, training activities carried out by individuals, in pairs or by members of two households are permitted. Lessons may be provided to individuals and to groups of no more than 25 participants, while maintaining physical distance. Assistance at close proximity is not permitted.

Source: Global News
Source: CBC