Ontario to allow some businesses to reopen as of Monday

May 1 2020, 10:24 am

The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as of Monday, May 4.

According to the government, the workplaces can open as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Those permitted to reopen next week include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health has provided general recommendations on how the openings of businesses and workplaces could be implemented to support safe operations, including strict adherence to health and safety requirements, according to the province.

“We are allowing certain businesses to reopen under strict guidelines because we are confident they can operate safely and adapt to the current environment,” said Premier Doug Ford. “While further reductions in the spread are needed before we can begin reopening the province, we have the right framework and the right workplace guidelines in place to do so gradually and safely.”

The Ontario businesses which will be permitted to reopen on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 am include:

  • Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only;
  • Lawn care and landscaping;
  • Additional essential construction projects that include:
    • 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;
  • Automatic and self-serve car washes;
  • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
  • Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and
  • Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.

“Ontario workers and businesses have shown exemplary cooperation and resilience throughout the course of this crisis,” said Minister Vic Fedeli.

“We’re beginning to ease restrictions on select businesses as we carefully and methodically re-open Ontario’s economy and continue together on our path to renewed prosperity.”

The province said that although certain businesses are being permitted to reopen, it is critical that people continue to stay home, practise physical distancing and only go out for essential reasons, to pick up groceries, prescriptions or to keep a medical appointment.

Christine Elliott, Minister of Health, said while the province has made “tremendous progress” in the battle against COVID-19, “we are not done yet.”

“We need to keep up the fight by continuing to practise physical distancing and good hygiene habits.”

On Thursday, the Province of Ontario released over 60 guidelines for different sectors in the economy to prepare on reopening, as the “curve is flattening” for COVID-19 cases in Ontario.

At the time, Ford said that businesses and parts of the economy should “get ready” to reopen.

“Despite the uncertainty, we have many reasons to be optimistic right now,” said Ford.

“We have taken a measured approach, and 14.5 million of us have taken it seriously, because of that we have made tremendous progress… We are on the path to reopening the economy because that curve is flattening.”

As of Friday morning, Ontario had a total of 1,121 deaths from coronavrius, a total of 16,608 cases, with more than half resolved at 10,825.

There are 11,975 cases currently under investigation.