Ontario is entering its first phase of reopening the province on Tuesday as part of a three-stage response to revive businesses, services, and public spaces affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Phase one includes opening businesses that can immediately meet or modify operations that align with public health guidance requirements.
Here is a list of businesses and sectors that are allowed to re-open:
- This pertains to all construction activities or projects, including demolition services and land surveyors
- Retail stores with their own street-front entrances (not inside a mall) can reopen under restrictions, including limiting the number of people in the store to maintain a two-metre distance between shoppers and workers.
- Fitting rooms with doors (not curtains) will be allowed to open to facilitate disinfecting. Retailers have to restrict use to every second fitting room at any one time to allow for cleaning and disinfecting after each use.
- Continued use of curbside pick-up or delivery as well as provide in-store access by appointment.
Vehicle dealerships and retailers
- Prior to Stage 1, motor vehicles dealerships were restricted to appointments only. Vehicles dealerships, including cars, trucks and motorcycles, trailers, watercrafts and other motorised vehicles, can now open.
- Media activities that can be completed while working remotely have been encouraged, and filming (or other on-site activities, including those that require the gathering of workers, performers, etc.) are not permitted to resume during Stage One.
- Sound recording, production, publishing and distribution businesses, film/TV post-production, book/periodical production and interactive digital media businesses can resume.
- Non-emergency diagnostic imaging and surgeries in public hospitals, private hospitals and independent health facilities, clinics, and private practices can resume based on ability to meet specified pre-conditions. Certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling and crises services.
- This stage does not include clubhouses or recreational amenities (e.g., pools, fitness centres etc.).
- Libraries can open for pick-up or delivery.
- Religious buildings are closed during this stage; drive-in only religious services are allowed.
- Outdoor recreational amenities, golf courses (indoor/outdoor), outdoor golf driving ranges, marinas, and yacht clubs are able to open to the public. Restaurants on these premises may provide food by takeout or delivery.
- Private campgrounds can open to prepare for the upcoming season. They may also allow people who have a full season lease on a trailer or RV with water/electric hook ups in the park to use their trailers, but common amenities and recreational facilities must remain closed for now.
Individual outdoor recreational sports
- No team/contact sports are allowed at this stage. Facilities for outdoor sports and activities will open for individual activities only, with physical distance of at least two metres from any other person. There will be limited access to facilities, so no locker rooms, change rooms, or showers).
- Facilities include baseball diamonds, soccer fields, Frisbee/golf, tennis, platform tennis, table tennis courts, basketball courts, BMX parks, skate parks, Motorsport tracks, cycling tracks and bike trails, horse riding facilities, shooting ranges (including those operated by gun clubs), indoor shooting ranges including those operated by rod and gun clubs, indoor golf driving ranges, and indoor horse riding facilities with similar restrictions.
Individual sports competitions without spectators
- Facilities, other than pools, can be used if they are used to train amateur or professional athletes or to run amateur or professional athletic competitions if being used by a professional sport league, organization, or club.
Research and development
- This includes engineering, mathematics, biotechnology labs, etc. Most of these services are already permitted under the “Research” section of the List of Essential Workplaces.
Emissions inspection facilities
- Includes all emissions inspection facilities for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles and mobile inspection facilities.
Veterinary and animal services
- Veterinary services can resume all services by appointment. Pet grooming, sitting/walking/training services can resume.
Indoor and outdoor household services
- Domestic services, including housekeepers, cooks, maids, butlers, nannies, babysitters, and other domestic personnel can resume.
- Cleaning and maintenance services for households can resume, including indoor/outdoor painting, window cleaning, pool cleaning, general repairs, etc.
- Maintenance, repair and property management services for residential properties and buildings can resume, and are no longer limited to “strictly necessary” maintenance.
One sector that will not open as of yet are schools. Premier Doug Ford announced on Tuesday that public and private schools across Ontario will remain closed for the rest of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“One thing I will never do is take unnecessary risk when it comes to our children,” Ford said at Tuesday’s press conference. “We cannot open schools at this time. I’m just not going to risk it.”
Click here for more measures Ontario is taking in response to COVID-19.