OTTAWA -- Ottawa is now in Step 2 of Ontario's "Roadmap to Reopen" plan.

Step 2 began at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, two days ahead of schedule. It loosens several COVID-19 restrictions across Ontario, including allowing for the reopening of salons and other personal care services.

The province moved to Step 2 ahead of time as vaccination targets were met and exceeded. Step 2 required that 70 per cent of adults in Ontario have one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 20 per cent have two. As of Tuesday, those figures across Ontario were 77.53 per cent and 37.32 per cent, respectively, which meet or exceed the threshold for Step 3.

Step 2 is still scheduled to last 21 days, to give health officials time to monitor case trends.

In Ottawa, trends have been on the decline, with the seven-day average of new cases below 10, the weekly testing positivity rate below 1 per cent, and active cases under 100 for the first time since July 2020.

At Synergy Spa and Blades Hair Salon, staff say they're ready to reopen.

"We're so very excited, we've been open only five weeks this year," said owner Kim Lambert.

The space underwent renovations during the shutdown. Lambert says she's thrilled to be welcoming clients back.

"Our phones ring non-stop. We have girls in answering the phones, returning calls, returning emails, so we are booked. We do have room for clients and we're welcoming new clients," she said, while also asking guests to be patient.

"We are under restrictions in regards to maximum people and exposure per day, so just be patient with your salon and understand that they're doing their best to get everyone in for that first spot and that they will get to you."

Outdoor fitness classes are expanding as well.

OC Fit in Orléans has a waiting list for classes, but expanding into the parking lot will help now that classes are no longer capped at 10 people. The only restriction is maintaining three metres of distance between people.

"Now increasing that is just amazing. We can't be indoors yet but it's progress," said owner Phil Fortin.

Calypso Water Park in Limoges is also making a return this week after being closed since 2019.

"The main thing we have to remind people of this year is to buy tickets online for a specific date because one of the major things is limiting people on site," said marketing director Sandra Nadeau.

Calypso reopens Thursday, July 1.

Here is a full list of what is now allowed in Step 2:

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people
  • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to five people
  • Essential and other select retail permitted at 50 per cent capacity
  • Non-essential retail permitted at 25 per cent capacity
  • Businesses in malls without street-level entrances can reopen
  • Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times can resume at 25 per cent capacity
  • Outdoor dining with up to six people per table, with exceptions for larger households
  • Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding and funerals, permitted at up to 25 per cent capacity per room
  • Outdoor fitness classes limited to the number of people who can maintain three metres of physical distance
  • Outdoor sports without contact or modified to avoid contact, with no specified limit on number of people or teams participating, with restrictions
  • Overnight camps for children operating in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • Outdoor sport facilities with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity
  • Outdoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas, with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity
  • Outdoor horseracing and motor speedways, with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity
  • Outdoor fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals, permitted at 25 per cent capacity and with other restrictions