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GTHA Mayors and Chairs encourage residents to get fully vaccinated and urge the Province to provide clear guidance ahead of Step 3

HAMILTON, ON – Today, Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area held their regular weekly meeting to discuss the ongoing response to COVID-19 across the region.

The Mayors and Chairs continue to urge residents to get fully vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. While there continues to be a steady supply of vaccines, residents are encouraged to book their first and second dose regardless of which vaccine is available. Medical health professionals have been clear that the best vaccine is the first one available and that both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are interchangeable and will help protect against COVID-19 and further protect against the Delta variant.

A week into Step 2 of the provincial government’s reopening plans, the GTHA Mayors and Chairs are pleased to see a safe reopening is underway. The planned and cautious approach is meant to ensure that we can stay open and soon open further without the risk of further restrictions in the future.

As vaccination rates continue to rise and COVID-19 infection rates decrease, the GTHA Mayors and Chairs are hopeful that we are well on the way to entering Step 3 of the province’s reopening plan. We are hopeful that if vaccination and health data and prevailing circumstances permit, consideration might be given to slightly earlier safe re-opening of various indoor activities.

To ensure industries and businesses are prepared and ready to re-open whenever Step 3 arrives, the Mayors and Chairs urge the Province to provide clear guidance for Step 3 as soon as possible. This includes gathering limits for larger outdoor events, arts and culture events and concerts. Businesses, partners, teams, individual artists and venue operators are eager to know the rules and guidelines well ahead of Step 3 and the Mayors and Chairs are prepared to help the province implement these changes and ensure a seamless transition into the next phase when it is safe to do so. But the guidelines themselves, even in draft form, are needed on an urgent basis for planning purposes and we know the Province understands the needs of these hard hit businesses and individuals.

“Reopening businesses to support economic recovery, as soon as it is safe to do so, has always been a top priority. Our collective efforts to create awareness and community support to get the COVID-19 vaccine has developed a strong momentum. Let’s continue to work together to book first and second doses of the vaccine and complete the vaccine series so that we can begin to enjoy the things we miss the most.”

- Mayor Fred Eisenberger

The Mayors and Chairs also take positive note of changes made effective today as related to the border and hope this is part of a continuous process of normalization that will see further progress as soon as circumstances permit.