Select seasonal businesses are opening in Ontario on Monday, as the COVID-19 curve appears to flatten.
The businesses that begin operations again on May 4 include garden centres with curbside pick-up and delivery, lawn centres and landscaping, expanded essential construction projects, self-serve car washes, and auto dealerships by appointment only.
Golf courses can also prepare for the upcoming season and marinas can service their boats and other watercraft, but both are not yet open to the public.
On Friday, Premier Doug Ford announced that some businesses and workplaces would reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the pandemic.
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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,” Ford said on Friday.
“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 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.
Last week, the province released A Framework for Reopening our Province, a three-phase plan that will slowly reopen Ontario’s economy over the upcoming months.
The first stage will be for businesses that were ordered to close or restrict operations, opening select workplaces that can immediately modify operations to meet public health guidance. Opening some outdoor spaces like parks and allowing for a greater number of individuals to attend some events.
The second stage will be opening more workplaces, based on risk assessments, which may include some service industries and additional office and retail workplaces. Some larger public gatherings would be allowed, and more outdoor spaces would open.
The third stage will open all workplaces and alongside further relaxing of restrictions on public gatherings.