This afternoon, the Ontario Government announced it will begin to ease restrictions on select businesses that will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4, at 12:01 a.m., provided they follow proper health and safety guidelines.  These are:

  • 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 sector-specific health and safety guidelines developed by the government are available here.

Although it is beginning to loosen emergency measures, the Government did stress that Ontarians should continue to stay home as much as possible. 

Today's announcement indicated that the government "remains in Phase One of Ontario's Action Plan  in response to COVID-19, Protect and Support".  Nevertheless, the re-opening of businesses is good news, and signals that we may be moving towards Stage 1 of the government's Reopening Ontario After COVID-19 Framework.

Originally published 01 May 2020

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