Ontario will reopen its borders with Quebec and Manitoba this week, the government announced Monday, as the province logged 447 new cases of COVID-19.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in a statement that Ontario will not extend the order that restricted non-essential travel between the provinces. It is set to expire at 12:01 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
Those entering Ontario “must continue to follow the public health measures in place in the province,” Jones said.
Limits on travel have been in place since April 19, when the third wave of the pandemic was at its peak in Ontario.
Public health units collectively administered another 135,574 doses of COVID-19 vaccines yesterday, the most ever on a Sunday.
About 64.1 percent of Ontario’s total population has now had at least one dose, while 14.6 percent of residents aged 12 and older have received both shots.
Importantly, more than 74 percent of Ontarians 18 and above have gotten the first shot — above the 70 percent threshold the government has set as the main criterion for moving into Phase 2 of the province’s reopening plan.
Another key benchmark is at least 20 percent of adults fully immunized against the illness. Given the current trajectory of second doses — which have begun to outpace doses being used for first shots — Ontario could reach the target by the end of this week.
The province entered Phase 1 of the reopening plan on June 11. It is currently scheduled to remain in Phase 1 until at least July 2.
Meanwhile, more Ontarians will be able to book an accelerated second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine starting today.
Those who received a first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine can now book their second after eight weeks. The Ontario government had previously set a minimum wait time of 12 weeks for people who took the first dose of AstraZeneca.
They can choose whether to get a second dose of AstraZeneca or switch to an mRNA vaccine made by Pfizer or Moderna.
Similarly, people who live in one of seven regions where the delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading and who received their first shot on or before May 9 can also now make an appointment for their second dose.
The strategy is focused on Toronto, Peel, Halton, Porcupine, Waterloo, York and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph.
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