Ontario allows some businesses to reopen with ‘strict safety guidelines’

The Ontario government is allowing some workplaces to reopen, as long as they meet “strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.”

In a news release issued Friday, the province announced the businesses that will be allowed to start up again include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects.

“We are allowing certain businesses to reopen under strict guidelines because we are confident they can operate safely and adapt to the current environment,” said Premier Doug Ford, in a statement.

“While further reductions in the spread are needed before we can begin reopening the province, we have the right framework and the right workplace guidelines in place to do so gradually and safely.”

The province says the following businesses will be able to begin operating on 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.
  • 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.

At the province’s daily news briefing, Ford said he is “optimistic” that additional businesses will be able to open up safely “the near future.”

“We’re heading in the right direction,” Ford said, noting that many of the businesses that will be allowed to open next week are seasonal in nature.

“We have reason to be optimistic,” he said.

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