TORONTO – Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced Wednesday afternoon (May 6th) that additional businesses types and construction projects will be able to reopen beginning May 8th.
“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,” said Ford. “As the trends improve, we can move forward with reopening more and more of our economy and getting people back to work.”
Beginning Friday, May 8th, garden centres and nurseries will open to the public for in-store payment and purchases. These businesses will operate under the same public health guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies currently do. Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be able to reopen for in-store payment purchases on May 9th.
“For non-essential retailers, we have some good news today, beginning May 11th, retail stores with a street entrance will be able to provide curb-side pickup,” Ford said.
Retail stores that are able to reopen can also provide delivery options, in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines, and occupational health and safety requirements. Stores inside mall or development complexes will not be able to reopen yet.
Essential construction project guidelines are also being expanded to allow below-grade apartment and condominium projects to begin, and above-grade projects to continue.
“Together, each of us have put in tremendous effort to stop the spread, and because of these collective efforts we have made tangible progress,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott. “More than ever, we need to continue practicing physical distancing while we slowly and carefully reopen Ontario’s economy.”
Government officials stressed that businesses in Ontario must follow public health measures and review all workplace safety guidelines, including promoting physical distancing, staggering shifts, and moving to contact-less payment options.
The government did not make any changes to the allowed size of group activities, or reopening of public spaces like parks and recreation.
Officials announced earlier that the government’s State of Emergency declaration and all Emergency Orders made will be extended for another two weeks. The province also extended the removal of time-of-use billing for residential, agriculture, and small business electricity use to May 31st.