• Alex Powell

Ontario announces new list of businesses that can reopen

TORONTO -- Ontario has announced a list of more businesses than can open across the province with strict guidelines in place.

Premier Doug Ford said Wednesday garden centres and nurseries will be allowed to reopen as of Friday at 12:01 a.m. On Saturday, hardware stores and safety supply stores will also be allowed to reopen.

On May 11, retail stores with a street entrance will be allowed to reopen for curb side pickup.

“We’ve been preparing to get more and more of our economy working again safely and cautiously because when it comes to reopening our economy I’d rather be safe than sorry,” Ford said Wednesday.

"I want to be clear, all public health measures remain in place and will be strictly enforced. We can't take the progress we have made for granted."

"We will move with cautious optimism."

The government said it is also expanding its list of essential construction projects to allow below-grade multi-unit residential projects, like apartments and condominiums, to begin.

The first stages of the province's reopening process began on May 4 when some seasonal businesses and contruction projects were given the green light to operate. 

Last week, provincial government released a list of sector-specific guidelines industries must follow in order to reopen.

The government said the new safety guidelines provide direction to various industries including retail, health care, manufacturing, tourism, restaurant and food service, offices, construction sites, and transit and transportation services.

The premier also unveiled a three-phase plan to reopen following weeks of shutdown.The plan, dubbed "A Framework for Reopening our Province," states the parameters of each "gradual stage."

Ontario also extended its emergency orders today, which include the continued closure of non-essential businesses, as the province reported 412 new cases of COVID-19 and 68 more deaths.


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