Some Ontario businesses will soon be allowed to reopen their doors, according to an announcement from Premier Doug Ford, in the province's first step towards reopening the economy.
The Ontario government announced today that select workplaces and businesses will be allowed to reopen on May 4, albeit with strict safety guidelines in place.
The province says a steady decrease in COVID-19 cases is still required before beginning the next stage of reopening.
Here's the official list of businesses permitted to reopen this coming Monday.
- 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;
- Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and
- Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.
The news may come as a surprise to some considering Ford has been reluctant to announce any firm or tentative dates for the province's reopening plan.
He did, however, tell businesses yesterday to "get ready" because "we're getting close" to reopening Ontario's economy.
Earlier this week, the government also released a framework and more than 60 guidelines in partnership with Ontario's health and safety associations to help businesses prepare to reopen successfully and safely.
A statement from the provincial government about today's announcement says general recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer of Health have been provided on how the openings of businesses and workplaces could be implemented to support safe operations, including strict adherence to health and safety requirements.
"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 Premier Ford in the statement.
"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."
Provincial officials continue to emphasize 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.
by Mira Miller via blogTO