A message from the Ontario government
In a media release today, the Ontario government announced the additional retailers, seasonal businesses, and health and community service providers that will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, provided that health indicators related to COVID-19 continue to improve.
The government also announced additional seasonal services and activities that will be permitted to open as early as Saturday, May 16, 2020 on the first long weekend of the summer season.
The details were provided by various ministers during Premier Doug Ford’s daily briefing.
“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.”
The following will be allowed to open as of Saturday, May 16:
- Golf courses, 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.
These openings will be followed by the first phase of Ontario’s reopening plan on Tuesday, May 19, again assuming that health indicators related to COVID-19 continue to improve.
The following businesses will be permitted to open:
- 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 and scheduled surgeries 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, as well as resuming professional services such as shifting Children’s Treatment Centres from virtual to in-person.
Safety guidance documents are available to help employers protect workers and the general public, as well as a directory of personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The government encourages businesses to access only the PPE they need to keep their employees and customers safe to ensure continued availability for frontline healthcare workers and first responders.
Members of the public are asked to continue to adhere to recommended public health measures, including practising physical distancing or wearing a face covering when physical distancing is difficult or not possible, as well as regular handwashing and staying home when ill.
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health will closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when certain public health restrictions, including adjustments to social gatherings, can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.
The Province said it will be providing an update on school closures and child care early next week.
Anyone with questions about what will be open or impacts to their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
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.
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