The government of Ontario has started to allow select businesses to reopen as the trajectory of COVID-19 cases in the province continues to “improve.”
On Monday, Premier Doug Ford said as key trends in the cases head in the right direction, it gives him the “confidence that we can head back to opening up the economy soon.”
Already, select seasonal businesses and retail stores have been allowed to reopen in a phased approach, adhering to strict public health protocol.
Before Mother’s Day, as early as Friday, May 8, at 12:01 am, garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies, according to the province.
Hardware stores will also reopen and retail businesses can soon offer curbside pickup.
But, Ford said that these businesses must ensure physical distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering shifts, and using contactless payment options to stop the spread of the virus.
The premier also said that the business owners should review the health and safety guidelines developed by the province and its health and safety association partners.
“As the trends improve, we can move forward with reopening more and more of our economy and getting people back to work,” Ford said during a press conference on Wednesday.
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All the businesses that can reopen so far by date:
- Lawn centres and landscaping
- Expanded essential construction projects including shipping and logistics, broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure, any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services, municipal projects, colleges and universities, child care centres, schools and site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development
- Self-serve car washes, and auto dealerships by appointment only
- Golf courses can also prepare for the upcoming season, but not yet open to the public
- Marinas can service their boats and other watercraft, but not yet open to the public
- Garden centres and nurseries will be allowed to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies
- Hardware stores
- Retail stores with a street entrance can open for curbside pick-up
- Below-grade, multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue