TORONTO – Select businesses that can comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak will be allowed to reopen beginning May 4th. Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement today (May 1st).
“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 Ford. He added that the province needs further reductions in the spread of COVID-19 before more businesses outside of the list announced today can open..
Ford said that Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams has provided a list of general recommendations on how businesses and workplaces can reopen, while implementing strict health and safety requirements.
Eastern Ontario Health Unit Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis announced a series of Section 22 orders April 29th and 30th providing guidance on how businesses should be operating curbside pickup, money handling, and preventing groups from lingering in parking lots contrary to already issued group size emergency orders.
Beginning May 4th at 12:01 a.m., the following types of businesses will be allowed to reopen:
- 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;
Additionally, golf courses may begin preparation for the upcoming season, but not be open to the public. Marinas can also begin preparation for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft, and place boats in the water. Marinas are not allowed to be open to the public, and all watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.
Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott said it was important that while the government is planning for the next phase of reopening, Ontarians need to continue to stay at home as much as possible.
“While we have made tremendous progress in our shared battle against this new virus, we are not done yet,” she said. “We need to keep up the fight by continuing to practice physical distancing and good hygiene habits.”