COVID-19 Update: Ontario Is Entering Into Step Three

On Friday, July 16, the Province of Ontario will move to the next step in its Roadmap to Reopen.
COVID-19 Update: Ontario Is Entering Into Step Three
July 12, 2021

Ontario is moving five days early into Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen and will remain in this step for at least 21 days.

With vaccination rates surpassing targets, Premier Ford announced that July 16 will see restrictions ease in the province. Step Three is aimed at safely resuming indoor services and allowing larger indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Moving into this new stage means that the provincial mandate for masks indoors will remain in place, and all businesses must have a COVID-19 operational plan but restrictions have been eased on capacity limits. Here's what food businesses need to know.

Restaurants and bars

Indoor dining in restaurants and bars is allowed with no capacity limits on the number of customers per table, as long as physical distancing is maintained between tables.

Indoor food and drink establishments with a dance facility (e.g. nightclubs) may operate at 25 percent capacity or 250 people, whichever is less.


Capacity limits on essential and non-essential retail stores will be removed as long as customers can maintain two metres of physical distance.

Large venues and events

In Step Three, outdoor gatherings and organized public events are capped at 100 people.

Casinos, bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs, exhibitions and festivals will be limited to 50 percent capacity indoors or 75 percent capacity outdoors.

Concert venues, cinemas and theatres will be open in Step Three, at up to 50 percent capacity indoors, with a maximum of 1,000 people — whichever number is lower. Outdoors, these venues can operate at 75 percent capacity to a limit of 5,000 people for unseated events, or 15,000 people for seated events — whichever number is lower.

Religious services

Indoor weddings, funerals and other religious services can go ahead as long as physical distancing between guests is possible.

Outdoor services are capped at the number of attendees who can maintain two metres of physical distance.

The Canadian Institute of Food Safety will continue to provide updates on COVID-19 health restrictions as they apply to the food industry.