Ontario Announces First Stage of Reopening Province
Date: May 15, 2020
On May 14, 2020, the Ontario government announced that certain workplaces will be able to resume operations beginning May 19, 2020, signalling the start of Stage 1 of the second phase of the province’s reopening strategy, “A Framework for Reopening our Province” (Stage 1). The government also announced additional seasonal services and activities that may open May 16, 2020.
Stage 1 permits the following businesses and activities to resume, subject to the public health guidelines set out in Ontario’s Guidelines for Essential Workplaces, as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.:
- construction (essential workplace limits are lifted)
- retail services which have separate street entrances and which put measures into place to ensure physical distancing of 2 metres, among other things (shopping malls are not permitted to open)
- certain health and medical services
- vehicle dealerships and retailers
- office-based media operations involving equipment that does not allow for working remotely (e.g. film-based production, publishing, interactive digital media)
- libraries for pick up and delivery
- professional services related to research and development
- some individual recreational sports (e.g. tennis) and individual sports competitions without spectators
- indoor (e.g. domestic services) and outdoor (e.g. maintenance) household services
- animal services (e.g. grooming, training) and regular veterinary appointments
- general maintenance and repair services.
Note that at the time of publication, the text of the Order(s) made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) giving effect to these announced openings had not been released, but will need to be consulted to ensure that your reopening plans meet the government’s requirements. [Editor’s note: On May 19, 2020, the government filed two orders under the EMCPA giving effect to the above openings: O. Reg. 223/20 and O. Reg. 221.20.]
O. Reg. 219/20, an Order made under the EMCPA and filed on May 14, 2020, sets out the seasonal services and activities that may open effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday May 16, 2020. These include:
- golf courses (with restrictions on clubhouse and restaurant use)
- marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches (for recreational use only)
- private parks and campgrounds (only to prepare for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract)
- businesses that board animals (to allow boarders to visit, care for, or ride their animals).
The government has released more than 90 safety guidance documents to assist employers in various sectors. It has also launched a website, Workplace PPE Supplier Directory, to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers.
Stage 1 businesses should review and adopt the safety guidelines set out in the Guidelines for Essential Workplaces to ensure adequate measures are in place to protect workers, customers and the general public. Inspectors from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development will visit workplaces to make sure that proper safety measures have been put into place.
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