OTTAWA -- For the first time in 69 days, bar and restaurant patios are open for business in Ottawa as the province enters Step 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen plan.

The Ontario government took the first step in reopening Ontario's economy at 12:01 a.m., with the focus on more outdoor activities with smaller crowds where risk of transmission is lower.

Bar and restaurants have been closed for in-person dining in Ottawa since Ontario began a four-week shutdown on April 3. Non-essential businesses have been closed since April 8, when Ontario implemented a stay-at-home order.

On Friday, patrons visited restaurant and bar patios for lunch or an afternoon drink in the sunshine.

"This is a small victory for the good behaviour of our residents, they've followed the rules, they're getting vaccinated which is great," said Mayor Jim Watson during an interview on CTV News Ottawa.

"The restaurant industry, as you know, has been the hardest hit - waiters, waitresses, cooks, chefs and so on, so this gives them a bit of a lifeline because they've been basically trying to survive on takeout and curbside (pickup)."

Watson visited The Lieutenant's Pump on Elgin Street for lunch on Friday as patios reopened.

"It brings life back to the city," said Watson.

The mayor is urging people to continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines to allow businesses to continue to reopen.

"We have to continue to get jabs in arms, number one and we also have to respect the rules," said Watson in an interview with CTV News Ottawa's Christina Succi.

"We don't want to see thousands of people looking for hundreds of seats in the ByWard Market tonight. We'll probably see that unfortunately, but please physically distance. Let's not blow it for these restaurant workers who have been without work for a long time."

Under Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen, outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 10 people are permitted.  Indoor gatherings with people outside your household remain prohibited.

Here's is a look at what's allowed to open in Ottawa in Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen plan:

  • Outdoor dining with up to four people per table, with exceptions for larger households
  • Non-essential retail permitted at 15 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold
  • Essential and other select retail permitted at 25 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold
  • Outdoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, capped at the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres
  • Outdoor fitness classes, outdoor groups in personal training and outdoor individual/team sport training to be permitted with up to 10 people
  • Movie theatre drive-ins are permitted to open
  • Day camps for children permitted to operate
  • Overnight camping at campgrounds and campsites are allowed to open, including Ontario Parks, and short-term rentals
  • Outdoor horse racing tracks and motor speedways permitted to operate without spectators
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, landmarks and historic sites may open with capacity and other restrictions

Retail stores in malls must remain closed unless the stores have a street-facing entrance.

Here is a look at the plans at each Ottawa mall:

Rideau Centre

  • Nordstrom, Zara, Urban Planet and H&M open at 15 per cent capacity
  • All other stores are open for curbside pickup
  • Joey Rideau patio open
  • Food court is open for takeout only

Bayshore Shopping Centre

  • Hudson's Bay open at 15 per cent capacity
  • Walmart open
  • All stores open for curbside pick-up

Place d'Orleans

  • Hudson's Bay, Mark's, MasterMind Toys and Sport Chek open at 15 per cent capacity
  • Other stores are open for curbside pick-up (check with each store)

St. Laurent Centre

  • Sport Chek and Hudson's Bay open for in-person shopping at 15 per cent capacity
  • All stores open for curbside pick-up
  • Food Court open for takeout only

Tanger Outlets

  • Some stores open (check with individual stores)

Personal care settings must remain closed until Ontario enters Step 2 of the reopening plan, scheduled 21 days after Ontario begins step one.

Here is a look at what's allowed in Ottawa in Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen plan:

Ontario has said that to enter Step 2, 70 per cent of adults must be vaccinated with one dose and 20 per cent vaccinated with two doses.

  • Larger outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people
  • Indoor gatherings up to five people
  • Outdoor dining for up to six people per table
  • Essential retail at 50 per cent capacity
  • Non-essential retail capacity at 25 per cent
  • Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times
  • Outdoor cinemas and performing arts with capacity limits
  • Outdoor boat tour operators
  • Outdoor tour and guide services with capacity limits
  • Outdoor sports leagues and events
  • Public libraries with capacity limits
  • Outdoor waterparks and amusement parks with capacity limits
  • Fairs and rural exhibitions with capacity limits