Doug Ford considering moving Ontario to Step 2 of reopening on June 30, sources say

TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford is considering moving up the second step of Ontario’s economic reopening by two days and is set to make the final decision during a cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday, CTV News Toronto has learned.

If approved, sources say Step 2 of the economic reopening would be bumped up to June 30, allowing personal care services and larger outdoor gatherings to resume.

It was originally scheduled for July 2, which is 21 days since Ontario entered Step 1.

Premier Ford was asked about speeding up the reopening process on Wednesday, while announcing the ground-breaking of the future three-stop Scarborough subway extension in Toronto.

“We’re working to get to Stage 2 as quickly as possible and Step 3, as soon as it’s safe, after that,” Ford said.

The news comes amid a surge in vaccination rates and as COVID-19 cases across Ontario continue to trend downwards in recent weeks.

In fact, on Tuesday, Ontario met the vaccination thresholds required to enter the third and final step of its economic reopening weeks ahead of schedule, with 76 per cent of residents aged 18 and above having received their first dose, while 25 per cent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated.

However, the province’s top health officials have made clear that the province would wait a minimum of 21 days before advancing to the next stage of reopening.

Ford said that Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams and Minister of Health Christine Elliott are currently reviewing Ontario’s COVID-19 case data as it pertains to reopening.

He said the pair will be coming out with an announcement on the matter “very shortly.”

Based on the original schedule, Ontarians had been expecting to enter Step 3, which allows for the most lenient of public health restrictions, on July 23 at the earliest.

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