Ontario is set to enter its first stage of reopening next Tuesday including lifting restrictions on retail stores, golf driving ranges and tennis courts, surgeries and dog grooming.
In a document released today, the province says Ontario can now gradually begin to open workplaces, but working from home should continue as much as possible.
All businesses should follow the Ministry of Health’s Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements.
The government also announced additional seasonal services and activities will be permitted to open as early as Saturday May 16, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, as key public health indicators continue to show progress.
From Saturday, May 16, 2020:
- 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 animals.
From Tuesday, May 19, 2020:
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.
- No indoor malls.
- Must have a street-front entrance (i.e., stores with dedicated street access/storefront).
- Open in-store by appointment and/or by limiting the number of people in the store at any one time. Retailers would need to restrict the number of customers per square metre — for example, one customer per 4 square metres (43 square feet) — to ensure
physical distancing of 2 metres at all times.
- Only fitting rooms with doors would be used, not curtains, to facilitate disinfecting.
- Retailers would restrict use to every second fitting room at any one time to allow for cleaning after use and ensure physical distancing.
- All construction to resume and essential workplace limits lifted. Includes land surveyors
Vehicle dealerships and retailers
Prior to Stage 1, motor vehicles dealerships were restricted to appointments only.
- Vehicle dealerships and retailers, including:
- New and used car, truck, and motorcycle dealers
- Recreational vehicle (RV) dealers (e.g., campers, motor homes, trailers, travel trailers)
- Boat, watercraft and marine supply dealers
- Other vehicle dealers of motorized bicycles, golf carts, scooters, snowmobiles, ATVs, utility trailers, etc.
Office-based media operations involving equipment that does not allow for remote working. For example:
- Sound recording, such as production, distribution, publishing, studios.Film and television post-production, film and television animation studios.
- Publishing: periodical, book, directory, software, video games.
- Interactive digital media, such as computer systems design and related services (e.g.,
programming, video game design and development).
- Media activities that can be completed while working remotely have been encouraged to continue during the Restart phase.
- Filming or other on-site activities, especially those that require the gathering of workers, performers or others are not permitted to resume in Stage 1.
- Libraries for pick-up or delivery
Outdoor recreational amenities
- Marinas can resume recreational services
- Pools will remain closed.
Individual recreational sports
- Outdoor recreational sports centres for sports not played in teams will open with limited access to facilities (e.g., no clubhouse, no change rooms, washrooms and emergency aid only). Examples of sports centres include:
— Tennis courts
–Rod and gun clubs
–Cycling tracks (including BMX)
–Horse riding facilities
- Indoor rod and gun clubs and indoor golf driving ranges
Individual sports competitions without spectators
- Professional and amateur sport activity for individual/single competitors, including training and competition conducted by a recognized Provincial Sport Organization, National Sport Organization, or recognized national Provincial training centres (e.g., Canadian Sport Institute Ontario) with return to play protocols in place and no spectators, except for an accompanying guardian for a person under the age of 18 years.
- This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played under physical distancing measures. This includes:
— Water sports on lakes and outdoor bodies of water
— Racquet sports such as tennis, ping pong, badminton
— Animal-related sports such as dog racing, agility, horse racing
— Other sports such as: track and field, car and motorcycle racing, figure skating, fencing, rock climbing, gymnastics, etc.
- Swimming pools will remain closed. As a result, water-based sports competitions are excluded if not conducted on lakes or outdoor bodies of water.
- High-contact sports are not allowed even if they are non-team. These include sports where physical distancing cannot be practiced such as: Racquetball, squash, boxing, wrestling sports, martial arts, etc
Professional services related to research and development
- Professional services related to conducting research and experimental development in physical, engineering and life sciences including electronics, computers, chemistry, oceanography, geology, mathematics, physics, environmental, medicine, health, biology,
botany, biotechnology, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, pharmacy, veterinary and other allied subjects. For example:
— Agriculture, food research, horticulture or botany, entomological, forestry, livestock,
veterinary research and development laboratories.
— Bacteriological, biotechnology, chemical, nanobiotechnology, pharmacy, genetics,
genomics, computational biology, research and development laboratories.
— Computer and related hardware, electronic, telecommunication research and
— Geology, oceanographic, pollution research and development, and astronomical
— Mathematics research and development.
— Industrial research and development laboratories.
Emissions inspection facilities
- All emissions inspection facilities for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles, including
mobile inspection facilities.
- Veterinary services can resume all services by appointment.
- Animal services
- Pet grooming services
- Pet sitting services
- Dog walking services
- Pet training services
- Training and provision of service animals
- Effective May 16, 2020, businesses that board animals (e.g., stables) may allow boarders to visit, care for, or ride their animal
Indoor and outdoor household services
Private households could now employ workers on or about the premises in activities primarily concerned with the operation of the household such as:
- Domestic services: housekeepers, cooks, maids, butlers, personal affairs management, nanny services, babysitters, other domestic personnel, etc.
- Cleaning and maintenance service: house cleaning, indoor/outdoor painting, window cleaning, pool cleaning, general repairs.
- General maintenance, and repair services can resume, and are no longer limited to “strictly necessary” maintenance.
Scheduled surgeries (public and private facilities)
- Non-emergency diagnostic imaging and surgeries in public hospitals, private hospitals and independent health facilities, clinics, and private practices to resume based on ability to meet specified pre-conditions including the MOH framework: A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, contains clear criteria that must be met before hospitals can resume scheduled surgeries.
- Scheduled surgical and procedural work to resume once “Directive #2 for Health Care Providers (Regulated Health Professionals or Persons who operate a Group Practice of Regulated Health Professionals)” is amended or revoked, which relies on hospitals meeting criteria outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19.
- Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries 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, as well as resuming professional services such as shifting Children’s Treatment Centres from virtual to in-person.
- In-person counselling to resume including psychotherapy and other mental health and support services. Some of these services were available in-person for urgent needs.
— Addiction counselling
— Crisis intervention
— Family counselling
— Offender rehabilitation
— Palliative care counselling
— Parenting services
— Rape crisis centres
— Refugee services
- Lawn care and landscaping;
- Additional essential construction projects
- Automatic and self-serve car washes
- Auto dealerships, open by appointment only
From Friday, May 8
- Garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies.
From Saturday, May 9
- Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases.
- All retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery.
- 500 Ontario Parks and Conservation areas for limited use
- In addition to easing restrictions on retail, the government is also expanding essential construction to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue.
Businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines, such as promoting physical distancing and frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering shifts, and using contactless payment options to stop the spread of COVID-19.
On April 27th, Ontario released the plans of how the province will ease restrictions introduced because of the COVID−19 pandemic. The framework detailed how each of the three stages will last about two to four weeks. The province is not yet at the point of entering the first stage of its reopening framework, which — in addition to allowing workplaces that can modify operations to reopen — would see the opening of parks, allowing for more people at certain events such as funerals, and having hospitals resume some non-urgent surgeries.
— With Files From the Canadian Press