(Reopening Ontario – May 14, 2020 announcement from Ontario government. Photo: Ontario Government YouTube)
“During the last several weeks, the people of Ontario have been called on to make incredible sacrifices to help us stop the spread of COVID-19, including staying home from work, closing down businesses and going without a regular paycheque,” said Premier Ford on Stage 1 for opening up Ontario businesses. “However, we are reopening even more of our businesses beginning this long weekend. We are taking a cautious, balanced approach to our economic reopening, to protect the health and safety of everyone.”
Saturday, May 16 will bring joy to the many golfers and boaters in our midst. Golf courses will be opening, but only clubhouse washroom facilities will be accessible and club restaurants can offer take-out only. Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches can open for recreational use.
For those who board their horses, you can now visit the stables to care for and ride your horse. And, private parks and campgrounds can open for seasonal preparation to allow owners of trailers to access the campground, but only if you have a full-season contract.
Tuesday, May 19, retail outlets, health and community service providers will open or be allowed to expand their services, but only if they are prepared to do so. The businesses opening on Tuesday must meet the workplace safety measures designated by the province. The provincial government, along with health and safety associations, released over 90 safety guidelines to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing. The documents can be referred to here.
- Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances
- Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization – 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.
- Pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
- Vehicle dealerships.
- Office-based media operations like sound studios and TV post-production.
- Libraries for pick-up and delivery.
- Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
- Construction sites.
- 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.
It seems that personal services like hair and nail salons will be allowed to possibly reopen in Stage 2 or 3. “It’ll depend on the numbers,” said Ford, making a personal observation, “Look at my hair, I look like a sheepdog right now.”
Should this first Stage prove to be successful, the public should continue to adhere to what has become common practices – physical distancing, regular handwashing, staying home when ill, and wearing a face mask when physical distancing is not possible or difficult to do.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health will be monitoring the situation and will advise when specified health restrictions can be gradually loosened or tightened as required — the social gathering numbers.
The May 14, 2020 announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, and his team members who consisted of: Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
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