Today the provincial government released further details regarding next steps in reopening Ontario’s economy.
1. Certain Outdoor Businesses Allowed to Open this Weekend
On Saturday, May 16th, at 12:01 a.m., the following businesses will be allowed to open:
- Private parks and campgrounds;
- Marinas and boat clubs;
- Golf courses; and
- Animal boarding businesses, including riding stables.
2. Implementing Stage 1 of the Framework for Reopening the Economy
On Tuesday, May 19th, Ontario will enter Stage 1 of the previously released Framework for Reopening the Economy and allow designated businesses to reopen. The full list can be found here.
The government has made it clear that businesses allowed to reopen as of May 19th are not required to open and in fact, can only reopen if they are ready and can meet the stringent health and safety workplace and public health guidelines.
Businesses allowed to reopen include:
- Retail stores with dedicated street-front entrances, with very specific restrictions including the number of customers and physical distancing measures;
- Professional services related to research and development;
- Vehicle dealerships and retailers, removing appointment-only restrictions;
- Certain seasonal venues, including outdoor sports fields, tennis courts, and off-leash dog parks;
- Veterinarians and other pet services, such as pet grooming by appointment only, dog walking services and animal shelters;
- Household services such as cleaning and maintenance;
- Certain health and medical services, including non-emergency diagnostics and scheduled surgeries;
- In-person counselling including psychotherapy and other mental health and support services that follow certain requirements;
- All construction, including land surveyors; and
- Community services – libraries can reopen for pick up or delivery.
3. A Workplace PPE Directory for Employers
To help businesses ensure the safety of workers and customers as they reopen, the government has launched a Workplace Personal Protective Equipment directory for employers to access PPE, accessible at Ontario.ca/PPE.
4. Expanded Testing Guidelines
The Chief Medical Officer of Health announced the expansion of testing guidelines today, now allowing anyone with symptoms to be tested.
5. Guidance to Come on Size of Gatherings and School Year
The government will provide updates on easing restrictions on social gathering, as well as its decision on the remainder of the school year, in the coming days.
Following the announcement, Premier Ford and Minister of Health Christine Elliott reminded the public that the progress of Ontario’s economic recovery depends on case numbers continuing to decline. Both officials urged Ontario residents to continue to avoid contact with others outside of their households.