Toronto: The Ontario government yesterday announced that retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers will be permitted to open or expand their services from Tuesday, May 19, at 12:01 am — provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government’s reopening framework.
The government also announced additional seasonal services and activities will be permitted to open as early from Saturday May 16, at 12:01 am., in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, as key public health indicators continue to show progress, said a media statement.
“During the last several weeks, the people of Ontario have been called on to make incredible sacrifices to help us stop the spread of Covid-19, including staying home from work, closing down businesses and going without a regular paycheque,” said Premier Ford. “However, we are reopening even more of our businesses beginning this long weekend. We are taking a cautious, balanced approach to our economic reopening, to protect the health and safety of everyone.”
As soon as 12:01 am on Saturday, May 16, 2020:
- Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.
- Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.
- Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.
- Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.
The government’s responsible and measured approach to reopening will allow business owners and service provider’s time to ensure workplaces are safe for staff, consumers and the general public. Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, Ontario’s first stage of reopening will begin on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will include:
- Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot.
- Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.
- Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
- Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
- Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.
- Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling; in-person services, in addition to virtual services, delivered by health professionals; and scheduled surgeries, all based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The government and health and safety associations have released more than 90 safety guidance documents to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing. As new sectors of the economy begin to reopen, additional resources will be made available to help protect the safety of workers and the general public.
To support business-owners, workers and the economic recovery of the province, the government has launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.
- The province will be providing an update on school closures and child care early next week.
- If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
- On April 30, 2020, the government, in partnership with Ontario’s Health and Safety Associations, released sector-specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public in preparation for the gradual reopening of the economy. These contain recommendations and tips for employers on how to keep workers and customers safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- On April 27, 2020, the government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which unveiled the guiding principles to the safe, stage-by-stage reopening of businesses, services and public spaces in Ontario. This gradual reopening is part of the first stage of Phase 2: Restart in Ontario’s Framework for Reopening our Province.
- On March 25, 2020, the government launched Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID 19, a $17-billion package with funding targeted to protect the people of Ontario and support jobs, businesses and families as part of the government’s initial response to the pandemic.
- The new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee wants to hear directly from people and organizations from all regions and sectors to help inform the next phases of Ontario’s Action Plan in response to COVID-19. The survey, which is seeking feedback on the impacts of COVID-19 on personal finances, business supports and government relief measures, will be open until June 2020. Visit Ontario.ca/reopen to learn how you can provide your input.