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First phase of reopenings sees some businesses cleared to resume Saturday

Coffee shop woman owner with face mask, open after lockdown quarantine
Coffee shop woman owner with face mask, open after lockdown quarantine

A range of businesses will be allowed to reopen on Tuesday, with some seasonal services cleared for as soon as Saturday, the provincial government announced today.

Businesses that do reopen do so subject to restrictions such as maintaining physical distancing rules. The loosening of COVID-19 measures is also dependent on health indicators continuing to improve, the government said in a release.

“We are taking a cautious, practical and reasonable approach to restarting the economy, while maintaining the health and safety of the people of Ontario as our top priority,” said Finance Minister Rod Phillips. “This will allow Ontario to emerge from this outbreak with a clear path to economic recovery that keeps people safe and healthy.”

  • As of Saturday, the following businesses can reopen:
  • 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.

On Tuesday, following the long weekend, the list expands to include:

  • 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 sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport 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.
  • Construction projects, as the province lifts “essential workplace” limits.
  • Certain health and medical services, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions.

To support business-owners, workers and the economic recovery of the province, the government has launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.

To ensure that these first actions to reopen the province are a success, the public should continue to adhere to public health measures, including practising physical distancing or wearing a face covering when physical distancing is difficult or not possible, as well as regular handwashing and staying home when ill, officials advise. The chief medical officer of health will closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when certain public health restrictions, including adjustments to social gatherings, can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.

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