The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as of this Monday (May 4) “as long as they comply with strict public health measures during the COVID-19 crisis,”Premier Doug Ford said on Friday.
“It is clear that right now there are certain business and workplaces that can operate safely.”
By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m. :
- 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.
“Today is a glimmer of hope and it couldn’t come soon enough.”
“We have consulted with our chief medical officer, and today we are able to move forward with opening a small, small list of very specific businesses,” Premier Doug Ford said. “Many of these are seasonable businesses that we are confident can operate safely as long as they comply with public health measures and workplace guidelines.”
The provincial government has 500 inspectors that will conduct inspections. Ford said it’s “education first, fines next.” “Today is a glimmer of hope and it couldn’t come soon enough,” Ford said.
This news comes after the province announced new health and safety guidelines Thursday. These new sector-specific guidelines feature recommended actions employers can begin to plan for as they prepare to adapt to the new reality during COVID-19.
Province plans to have everyone in LTC homes tested in 2 weeks
Friday’s announcement also comes on the same day that the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) called for improved conditions at long-term care and retirement homes.
“While measures that have been announced by the provincial government are welcome and sincerely appreciated, still there remains a dangerous disconnect between what the premier has said he is going to do and the actual policy measures undertaken by his government,” said OHC in a news release.
Ontario reported that 541 long-term care residents have now died of COVID-19, with 198 outbreaks reported at long-term care homes.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says the province is hoping to have everyone in long-term care homes tested for COVID-19 in the next two weeks.