This page was last updated: October 20, 2020
If you need assistance you can also call our constituency office at 416-733-7878 (9:30 am to 5:00 pm) and we'll do our best to connect you with the resources and help you need.
If you're a business owner and have questions about temporary measures, including closures and essential workplaces during the coronavirus outbreak, call Ontario’s Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 please visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/
A Framework for Reopening our Province
In A Framework for Reopening our Province, the government laid out Ontario’s approach to reopening our province in order to get people back to work. The framework provided the principles the government will use to reopen businesses, services and public spaces in three stages, while maintaining the health and safety of the people of Ontario as our top priority. Each stage will last for approximately two-to-four-week periods to allow for close monitoring of any impacts or potential resurgence of cases.
As with every step taken in the fight against COVID-19, Ontario will proceed with caution and in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts. As public health measures are lifted and as economic activity resumes, the public will need to continue to maintain physical distancing and hand washing, along with self-isolation when experiencing COVID‑19 symptoms. Remote work arrangements should continue where feasible.
List of Businesses Permitted to Operate
As of Tuesday, May 19th at 12:01 a.m. the following businesses will be permitted to begin operations as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Garden centres, plant nurseries and greenhouses
- Hardware stores and safety supply stores
- Lawn care and landscaping
- All construction to resume and essential workplace limits lifted, including land surveyors
Retail stores with a separate street-front entrance:
-Not in shopping malls
-Have 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
-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
- Automatic and self-serve car washes
- 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
- 520 provincial parks and conservation reserves for limited day-use access
- 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
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)
- Certain health and medical services such as in-person counselling; in-person services, in addition to virtual services, delivered by health professionals; as well as resuming professional services such as shifting Children’s Treatment Centres from virtual to in-person. Examples of in-person counselling include:
-Palliative care counselling
-Rape crisis centres
- Libraries for pick-up and delivery
- 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:
-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...
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
-Rod and gun clubs
-Cycling tracks (including BMX)
-Horse riding facilities
-Golf driving ranges
- 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
- All emissions inspection facilities for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles, including mobile inspection facilities
- Veterinary services can resume all services by appointment
- Pet care services, such as grooming, training, dog walking and pet sitting
- 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
Workplaces should review and adopt the safety guidelines (as seen below) to ensure measures are in place to protect workers, customers and the general public. Inspectors from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development will be visiting workplaces to ensure employers put proper safety measures in place for workers.
For a more comprehensive list of essential businesses, please click here.
Religious Gatherings Permitted
Moving forward individuals can gather to attend religious gatherings if they comply with the following precautions:
- Individuals who attend must remain in a motor vehicle designed to be closed to the elements;
- Individuals may only be in the vehicle with others if they are part of the same household;
- Drivers must ensure vehicles are at least two meters apart;
- Gatherings can only be performed by a maximum of five people and physical distancing of two meters must be followed;
- Persons conducting the gatherings must ensure any buildings at that place that are intended for religious gatherings are closed during the service, except where the persons conducting the gatherings themselves reasonably require access; and
- No materials can be passed between participants or the individuals performing the service.
Amended Directive #2 to allow for Reopening of Health Practices
Following discussions, we have amended directive #2 to allow for the reopening of health practices around the province, including deferred and non-essential and elective services, including in hospitals and for all regulated health professionals. It's important to note that this does not mean that all health services will be available on May 27. Rather, health regulatory colleges have been asked to develop guidance to ensure high-quality and safe clinical care must be met before services can resume. Health Care Providers must also consider which services should continue to be provided remotely and which services can safely resume in-person with appropriate hazard controls and sufficient PPE.
The 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, including ensuring that the hospital and its region have the following:
- A stable number of COVID-19 cases;
- A stable supply of personal protective equipment;
- A stable supply of medications;
- An adequate capacity of inpatient and intensive care unit beds;
- An adequate capacity of health human resources; and
- The availability of post-acute care outside the hospital that would be required to support patients after discharge.
Timelines will vary from hospital to hospital and be conditional on approval by regional oversight tables involved with planning and coordinating Ontario's response to COVID-19.
Guidance from Health and Safety Associations
Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) comprises the former Construction Safety Association of Ontario, Electrical & Utilities Safety Association of Ontario, and Transportation Health and Safety Association of Ontario. It serves the construction, electrical and utilities, aggregates, natural gas, ready-mix concrete and transportation sectors.
IHSA guidance documents can be found here.
Public Service Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) comprises the former Education Safety Association of Ontario, Municipal Health and Safety Association, and Ontario Safety Association for Community and Healthcare. It serves hospitals, nursing and retirement homes, residential and community care, universities and colleges, school boards, libraries and museums, municipalities, provincial government and agencies, police, fire and paramedics and First Nations.
PSHSA guidance documents can be found here.
Workplace Safety North (WSN) comprises the former Mines and Aggregates Safety and Health Association, Ontario Forestry Safe Workplace Association, Ontario Mine Rescue, and Pulp and Paper Health and Safety Association. It serves the forestry, mining, smelters, refineries, paper, printing and converting sectors.
WSN guidance documents can be found here.
Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) comprises the former Farm Safety Association, Industrial Accident Prevention Association, and Ontario Service Safety Alliance. It serves the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.
WSPS guidance documents can be found here.
- Curbside pickup and delivery services
- Executives and management
- Sales and customer service representatives
- Lawn care workers
- Commercial industrial services
- Community garden
- Worker transportation to work sites
- Worker procedures handing paperwork
- Worker responsibilities
- Supervisor responsibilities
- Construction facility hygiene
- Best practices for employer responding to a suspected COVID-19 exposure
- Sharing tools (hand tools)
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Handling and receiving packages
- Responding to a suspected COVID-19 exposure if you are:
- Shippers and receivers (IHSA)
- Shipping (WSPS)
- Drivers and truck drivers
- Mental health awareness for drivers
- Precautions for drivers
- Fuelling of vehicles
- Handling and receiving packages
- Cleaning and sanitizing inside of your vehicle
- Transportation services
- Rest stop hygiene
- Hours of service and fatigue management (for employers)
- Employers of office settings (PSHSA)
- Office sector (WSPS)
- Office administration and secretarial staff
Tourism and hospitality
- Tourism and hospitality sector
- Hotel reception, room service and front line staff
- Hotel housekeeping and laundry
- Equipment operators and general labourers
- Quality control engineers and technicians
- Supervisors, production and operations management
- Warehouse workers, forklift operators and material handlers
- Warehousing sector
- Service managers, service technicians and other vehicle sales and service employees
- Vehicle sales and service sector
Film and TV
- Television hosts, technical crews and other TV and film employees
- Television, film and live performance sector
Guidance from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
Food processing sector
Restaurant and food services sector
Long term care sector
Economic Impacts of COVID-19 Survey
We want to hear about the economic impacts that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is having on your business and your community. Your feedback will help us develop a plan for economic recovery.
Closing date: June 12, 2020
This survey should take approximately 5 – 10 minutes to complete.
Launched the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory
To support business-owners, workers and the economic recovery of the province, we have launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment suppliers so they can keep their employees, customers and clients safe as they resume their operations.
The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory will be home to an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment (PPE).
Released Specific Recommendations on Face Coverings and Masks
Ontario has released specific recommendations on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings used in public where physical distancing is not possible, such as:
- Public transit
- Smaller grocery stores or pharmacies
- When you are receiving essential services
The Ministry of Health released the following face covering recommendations:
- Wear your face covering safely and snugly to cover your nose and mouth, without any gaps. Ensure your face covering is made of at least two layers of tightly woven material and can be cleaned multiple times without losing its shape;
- Medical masks, such as surgical and N95 masks, should be reserved for use by health care workers, those providing direct care, first responders and individuals who are ill and must leave their home for essential reasons such as seeking medical care, picking up medication or groceries;
- Face coverings should not be placed on or used by children under the age of two; anyone who has trouble breathing; and anyone who is unable to remove it without assistance.
For more information, please click here.