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Ontario allowing some businesses to reopen if they can comply with safety rules

Many of the businesses are seasonal, including garden centres

May 1, 2020
The Canadian Press

By Shawn Jeffords

TORONTO — Ontario will allow some businesses to reopen on May 4.

Premier Doug Ford says today that some businesses that can comply with safety rules that allow staff and customers to maintain physical distancing will be allowed to reopen.

Many of the businesses are seasonal, including garden centres with curbside pick-ups, lawn care and landscaping companies, and automatic car washes.

Ford says auto dealerships can reopen but by appointment only, and marinas and golf courses can prepare to reopen.

The premier says the reopening follows the advice of the province’s chief medical officer of health.

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

“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.”

Reopening May 4

By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, 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; 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.

Ford says he believes in the near future, the province will be able to announce additional businesses can reopen.

Ontario reported 421 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, and 39 more deaths, while the growth rate of cases moved slightly lower.

The province has now seen 16,608 cases, an increase of 2.6 per cent over the previous day. That’s down from the 2.9 per cent growth rate on Thursday, as the province looks for a consistent two-to-four weeks of declines before starting to reopen the economy.

With files from OHS Canada