Much of Ontario’s economy reopens today as Stage 1 of the Covid recovery plan takes effect

Retail, construction, scheduled surgeries and more

Premier Doug Ford has announced parts of the economy will be allowed to reopen on Tuesday, May 19, entering stage 1 of Ontario’s phased reopening plan. The news comes as the province reported its lowest increase in new cases since March.

Ford says the province is easing restrictions for the construction industry and opening more shopping options on Tuesday.

Ford says they are resuming all construction in the province and opening retail stores that are located outside of shopping malls and with a separate street-front entrance.

“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,” said Ford.

Premier Ford says private parks, campgrounds, marinas, tennis courts and golf courses will be allowed to open on Saturday.

Restaurants will have to wait until stage two or three before they will be allowed to further open. Social gathering restrictions remain in place.



Here’s what opened at the weekend

  • Golf courses will be able to open, 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.

Here’s what can open on Tuesday, May 19

  • 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 sports competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sports 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.

Full Release or scroll down to the bottom of the page for specifics


Health Minister Christine Elliott cautions people to still maintain physical distancing with anyone outside of the household.

Earlier today, Health Minister Christine Elliott put out a series of tweets saying the province is revising COVID-19 testing guidelines to include “anyone with symptoms.

Elliott says the move “will help identify and contain new cases and monitor any shifts in community spread.”

Quebec asks residents to wear masks when they leave their homes.

The province will be providing an update on school closures and child care early next week. Today Quebec Premier François Legault confirmed conditions were not met to reopen primary schools in the greater Montreal area on the 25th of May.

Legault also tells residents that when you leave your home, “wear a mask.” It’s a move health officials in Quebec say could become mandatory.

Effective May 19, 2020, you can resume the following:



Outdoor, recreational and seasonal activities

  • Further opening seasonal businesses, activities and services, such as golf driving ranges, recreational services at marinas, rod and gun clubs, cycling tracks
  • Allowing sports activity for individual/single competitors, including training and competitions conducted by a recognized Provincial Sport Organization, National Sport Organization, or recognized national provincial training centres. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sports competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as water sports on lakes and outdoor bodies of water (no swimming pool sports), such as rowing and sailing, low-contact racquet sports like tennis, badminton, pickleball and ping pong, athletics, such as track and field, gymnastics and figure skating, animal-related sports, such as horse racing


Construction

  • All construction to resume and essential workplace limits lifted.
  • Includes land surveyors.

Retail

  • In addition to retail operating online, or with curbside pickup and delivery, all retail can open under the following restrictions and guidelines:
  • No indoor malls.
  • Must have a street-front entrance (i.e., stores with dedicated street access/storefront).
  • Open in-store by appointment and/or by limiting the number of people in the store at any one time. Retailers would need to restrict the number of customers per square metre — for example, one customer per 4 square metres (43 square feet) — to ensure physical distancing of 2 metres at all times.
  • Only fitting rooms with doors would be used, not curtains, to facilitate disinfecting. Retailers would restrict use to every second fitting room at any one time to allow for cleaning after use and ensure physical distancing.
  • For further guidance on this sector, please refer to resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace.

Vehicle dealerships and retailers

  • Vehicle dealerships and retailers, including:
  • New and used car, truck, and motorcycle dealers.
  • Recreational vehicle (RV) dealers (e.g., campers, motor homes, trailers, travel trailers).
  • Boat, watercraft and marine supply dealers.
  • Other vehicle dealers of motorized bicycles, golf carts, scooters, snowmobiles, ATVs, utility trailers, etc.
  • Prior to Stage 1, motor vehicles dealerships were restricted to appointments only.

Media operations

  • Office-based media operations involving equipment that does not allow for remote working. For example:
  • Sound recording, such as production, distribution, publishing, studios.
  • Film and television post-production, film and television animation studios.
  • Publishing: periodical, book, directory, software, video games.
  • Interactive digital media, such as computer systems design and related services (e.g., programming, video game design and development).
  • Media activities that can be completed while working remotely have been encouraged to continue during the Restart phase.
  • Filming or other on-site activities, especially those that require the gathering of workers, performers or others are not permitted to resume in Stage 1.

Scheduled surgeries (public and private facilities)

  • Non-emergency diagnostic imaging and surgeries in public hospitals, private hospitals and independent health facilities, clinics, and private practices to resume based on ability to meet specified pre-conditions including the MOH framework: A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, contains clear criteria that must be met before hospitals can resume scheduled surgeries.
  • Scheduled surgical and procedural work to resume once “Directive #2 for Health Care Providers (Regulated Health Professionals or Persons who operate a Group Practice of Regulated Health Professionals)” is amended or revoked, which relies on hospitals meeting criteria outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19.

Health services

  • 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.
  • In-person counselling to resume including psychotherapy and other mental health and support services. Some of these services were available in-person for urgent needs. For example:
  • Addiction counselling
  • Crisis intervention
  • Family counselling
  • Offender rehabilitation
  • Palliative care counselling
  • Parenting services
  • Rape crisis centres
  • Refugee services

Community services

  • Libraries for pick-up or delivery.

Professional services related to research and development

  • Professional services related to conducting research and experimental development in physical, engineering and life sciences including electronics, computers, chemistry, oceanography, geology, mathematics, physics, environmental, medicine, health, biology, botany, biotechnology, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, pharmacy, veterinary and other allied subjects. For example:
  • Agriculture, food research, horticulture or botany, entomological, forestry, livestock, veterinary research and development laboratories.
  • Bacteriological, biotechnology, chemical, nanobiotechnology, pharmacy, genetics, genomics, computational biology, research and development laboratories.
  • Computer and related hardware, electronic, telecommunication research and development services.
  • Geology, oceanographic, pollution research and development, and astronomical observatories.
  • Mathematics research and development.
  • Industrial research and development laboratories.
  • These examples are listed for clarity. Most if not all these services are already permitted under the “Research” section of the List of Essential Workplaces.

Emissions inspection facilities

  • All emissions inspection facilities for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles, including mobile inspection facilities.

Veterinary services

  • Veterinary services can resume all services by appointment.

Animal services

  • Pet grooming services.
  • Pet sitting services.
  • Dog walking services.
  • Pet training services.
  • Training and provision of service animals.
  • Effective May 16, 2020, businesses that board animals (e.g., stables) may allow boarders to visit, care for, or ride their animal.

Indoor and outdoor household services

  • Private households could now employ workers on or about the premises in activities primarily concerned with the operation of the household such as:
  • Domestic services: housekeepers, cooks, maids, butlers, personal affairs management, nanny services, babysitters, other domestic personnel, etc.
  • Cleaning and maintenance service: house cleaning, indoor/outdoor painting, window cleaning, pool cleaning, general repairs.

Maintenance

  • General maintenance and repair services can resume and are no longer limited to “strictly necessary” maintenance.