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May 7, 2020

Ontario Announces More Businesses May Reopen with Strict Safety Guidelines

Authors Hendrik Nieuwland and Domenica Moran

On May 6, 2020, Ontario announced more businesses and workplaces may reopen so long as they comply with strict safety measures to ensure they operate safely and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  This is in furtherance of Stage 1 of the province’s framework for reopening the economy, which we previously discussed on our blog here.

On Friday, May 8 at 12:01 am, garden centres and nurseries may open for in-store payment and purchases.  They must operate under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies.  As of May 4, 2020, garden centres and nurseries were only allowed to provide curbside pick-up and delivery, which they may continue to offer.

On Saturday, May 9 at 12:01 am, hardware stores and safety supply stores may open for in-store payment and purchases.  Hardware stores and safety supply stores must also operate under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies.  They may also continue to offer curbside pick-up and delivery.

On Monday, May 11 at 12:01 am, all retail stores with a street entrance may begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces (accessible here) and occupational health and safety requirements.   

All businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines published by Ontario and its health and safety associations, which we previously discussed on our blog here.  These guidelines include promoting physical distancing and frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering employee shifts, and implementing contactless payment options to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Further, Ontario announced it will expand essential construction to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects such as apartments and condominiums to begin, and allow existing above-grade projects to continue.

Our firm will continue to provide you with updates as the Ontario Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

The foregoing is for informational purposes only and should in no way be relied upon as legal advice. For legal advice tailored to your circumstances and business, please contact any of SOM LLP’s lawyers by email or telephone.
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