Ontarians are getting a closer look at what the first stage of the government’s plan to reopen the economy will look like, with a slew of shuttered businesses and services set to resume on Saturday, and more on Tuesday. (full list below)
On Thursday the province released details of its plan, including the easing of restrictions in the construction industry, more shopping options, the opening of car dealerships, and the resumption of some film and televison productions.
Some outdoor and recreational activities will also get the green light to commence, with golf courses and driving ranges, cycling tracks, recreational services at marinas and rod and gun clubs poised to reopen.
Earlier this week, Ford teased “good news” would be coming, saying the people of the province have followed pandemic protocols.
Stage one in the province’s three-stage reopening framework also includes allowing more people to gather at certain events such as funerals. It would also permit hospitals to resume some non-urgent surgeries.
The province has extended its state of emergency to keep pandemic public health measures in place until June 2.
As of 12:01 a.m. on 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 animal.
As of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, May 19, 2020:
- All construction to resume and essential workplace limits lifted.
- Includes land surveyors.
- In addition to retail operating online, or with curbside pickup and delivery, all retail can open under the following restrictions and guidelines:
- 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.
- For further guidance on this sector, please refer to resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace.
Vehicle dealerships and retailers
- 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.
- Prior to Stage 1, motor vehicles dealerships were restricted to appointments only.
- 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.
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. For example:
- Addiction counselling
- Crisis intervention
- Family counselling
- Offender rehabilitation
- Palliative care counselling
- Parenting services
- Rape crisis centres
- Refugee services
- 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 development services.
- Geology, oceanographic, pollution research and development, and astronomical observatories.
- Mathematics research and development.
- Industrial research and development laboratories.
- These examples are listed for clarity. Most if not all these services are already permitted under the “Research” section of the List of Essential Workplaces.
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.
- 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.
Source: The Canadian Press, 680 News, 14 May 2020.