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Ontario could move to Step 2 of reopening early, but likely only by a few days

Moving up the reopening would mean Step 2 comes into effect ahead of Canada Day.
empty salon chair
Barber chairs sit empty at a closed barbershop in May 2020

The massive number of shots going into arms in Ontario could be good news for people in desperate need of a haircut.

There is some speculation that personal care services and other amenities that are set to reopen in Step 2 of the province’s economic reopening plan could be allowed to open their doors a few days ahead of schedule.

Premier Doug Ford has previously hinted he would like to move to Step 2 a little bit sooner than originally scheduled, however, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones remains cautious, preferring not to rush things with the risk of the more transmissible Delta variant in Ontario.

“I couldn’t be happier if we could open sooner but I also want to do it safely,” said Jones on Tuesday.

“We’re doing that under the advice and guidance of the chief medical officer of health and the health table and as soon as we can share the news with the businesses and the people of Ontario we will do that.”

COVID case counts continue to trend downward, along with the numbers of patients in the hospital and ICUs, and 76 per cent of Ontario adults have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That vaccination rate matches the 70 to 80 per cent that is outlined for Step 3 of the reopening plan.

Step 2 would allow for personal care services to reopen and would allow retailers to open at 50 per cent capacity. It would also allow for larger outdoor gatherings and some indoor gatherings.

Moving up the reopening by a few days would mean Step 2 coming into effect ahead of the extended Canada Day long weekend, which worries many health experts who say there is generally a spike in cases following a holiday weekend.

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