Select retail stores will be allowed to reopen in Ontario next week

May 6 2020, 10:31 am

The Government of Ontario said that select businesses will be opening in the upcoming week, including retail stores.

On Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford said that all retail stores with street access will be able to reopen to provide curbside pick-up starting at 12:01 am on Monday, May 11.

Ford also said that on May 8, at 12:01 am, 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

“So heading into Mother’s Day you can support your local garden centre,” Ford said.

Also, hardware stores can reopen as of 12:01 am, on Saturday, May 9.

The Retail Council of Canada said that hardware, safety supply stores and garden centres are getting out their welcome mats.

“Retailers are taking consumer healthy seriously as we track to opening our doors,” said the council.

All stores will be mandated to follow strict public health protocol.

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.

“Any reopening will be gradual measured or safe, but trends are heading in the right direction. We’ve been preparing to get more and more of our economy working again,” Ford said.

The province is also expanding essential construction to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue in order to “keep adding more houses and add more jobs.”

“We haven’t been sitting on our hands. Whether it’s releasing our framework for reopening or putting in place the workplace safety guidelines needed to help businesses adapt to the new environment, we’ve been laying the groundwork for the safe, measured, and gradual reopening of our province,” Ford said.

“As the trends improve, we can move forward with reopening more and more of our economy and getting people back to work.”

On April 27, the government released its Framework for Reopening our Province, which includes guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces, and the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts are using to advise the government on the loosening of public health measures, including emergency orders.

Last week, the provincial government also released over 60 sector-specific health and safety guidelines, including guidelines for curbside pickup and delivery services.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Ontario government is extending all emergency orders until May 19, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Some of the emergency measures include the closure of non-essential businesses, not allowing gatherings of more than five people, closure of outdoor recreational spaces, outdoor amenities and limiting staff from working in more than one retirement home or long-term care home, according to the provincial government.