More Ontario Businesses Are 'Open for Business' Today


Government of OntarioPremier Doug Ford announced last week that a whole new class of stores and workplaces may open their doors to the public beginning Tuesday May 19, 2020. The complete press release is here. The conditions of opening are clear and fines and public health orders will be issued if there are violations.

While the stores may be open, social distancing rules and advisories are in place. Seniors continue to be advised to stay in self-isolation regardless of the openings.

As of tomorrow, retailers, seasonal business and health and community services providers will be permitted to open. Workplaces must ensure that workplace safety measures are in place in order to protect workers and customers. As before in Ontario, workers have the right to refuse or to stop work where their health and safety is in danger. You can read the guidelines for refusing or stopping work here.

This weekend saw the following businesses open:

  •          Golf courses
  •           Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches for recreational use
  •           Private parks and campgrounds can open to prepare for the season and to allow access to full season contract owners

·        Businesses that board or care for animals may open to allow people to visits or ride or care for their animals.

As of tomorrow, the press release indicates that:

The government's responsible and measured approach to reopening will allow business owners and service provider's time to ensure workplaces are safe for staff, consumers and the general public. Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, Ontario's first stage of reopening will begin on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will 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.

·        Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.

·        Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling; in-person services, in addition to virtual services, delivered by health professionals; and scheduled surgeries, all 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.