Ontario moves to Step 3 Friday, July 16, 2021 - Retail Council of Canada
Coronavirus | Health & Safety | Ontario

Ontario moves to Step 3 Friday, July 16, 2021

July 9, 2021

Ontario announced today that it would move to Step 3 of its reopening plan as of 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 16, 2021.

Today’s announcement comes after continued pressure by RCC to remove all capacity restrictions in Step 3. As a result of our advocacy, we understand that the new capacity restrictions under Step 3 will only require retailers to restrict capacity to the number of members of the public that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres while inside the store. For those familiar with Ontario’s COVID-19 capacity calculations, this can be interpreted as “100% COVID-19 capacity”.

To calculate store capacity, please use RCC’s updated store capacity calculator.

Ontario’s “work from home except where necessary” clause remains in place in Step 3, meaning that head office staff cannot yet be broadly recalled to workplace settings.

In addition, RCC understands that:

  • Indoor dining will be permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect (100% COVID-19 capacity, with two-metres between table);
  • Concert venues, cinemas, and theatres permitted to operate at: 
    • up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less);
    • up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less), and;
    • up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less).

Following Step 3, Ontario is expected to lift all COVID-19 restrictions. This is expected in August, with further details around a date forthcoming.

RCC will continue to encourage the Ontario government to look ahead to the final phase of reopening in the weeks ahead whereby we would expect to see the lifting of all restrictions currently in place. The ability for retailers to plan for these adjustments is critical.

This new regulation will be posted as Ontario regulation 520/21, and will be consolidated into O. Reg 364/20.

For more information, please contact:

Sebastian Prins
Director, Government Relations (Ontario)
416 467-3759