What's open in Ontario? Canada's most populated province enters new phase

Elisabetta Bianchini
·2 min read

What’s open in Ontario?

As of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, certain outdoor businesses will be able to resume operations. This includes:

  • Golf courses, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out

  • Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches

  • 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

Today, Tuesday, May 19, the province will formally enter stage one of the reopening strategy. The initial businesses and services that will be able to operate include:

  • Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances, with physical distancing measures in place, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot.

  • Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes 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.

  • Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.

  • Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.

  • Certain health and medical services, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions.

  • All construction projects can resume.

“Business should open only if they are ready,” Ford stressed. “We need to keep in mind that all of this is dependent on the numbers.”

“The truth is, we can’t fully predict where things will go...we cannot let our guard down now.”

The premier said he is not able to put a time frame on when the next stage of reopening can begin but the numbers need to continue to go down “consistently over a couple-week period.” He added there is not a set date on when personal services from businesses like hair and nail salons, chiropractors and registered massage therapists can resume operations.

“We have to make sure safety comes first, especially in those close quarters,” Ford said, joking that he looks like “a sheep dog” right now without a hair cut.

Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier of Ontario and Minister of Health, said there have been conversations about “pooling” or “bubbling” groups of people in the province to increase close contacts, with more information to come in the future.

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