Essential construction projects will be allowed to reopen in Ontario on May 4 as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The province’s chief medical officer of health has provided general recommendations on how this can be implemented to support safe operations, including strict adherence to health and safety requirements.
“We are allowing certain businesses to reopen under strict guidelines because we are confident, they can operate safely and adapt to the current environment,” said Premier Doug Ford. “While further reductions in the spread are needed before we can begin reopening the province, we have the right framework and the right workplace guidelines in place to do so gradually and safely.”
More than 60 guidelines were developed in response to the pandemic. Critical medical projects and other projects, also deemed critical, have been allowed to continue construction. On May 4 construction projects allowed to resume will include: shopping and logistics, broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure, any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services, municipal projects, colleges and universities, child care centres, schools, and site preparation, excavation, and services for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development.
In addition, garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery-only, lawn care and landscaping, automatic and self-serve car washes, auto dealerships (by appointment only), golf courses (can prepare their courses but not allowed to be open to the public), and marinas (only for preparation for the recreational boating season, but not open to the public) can resume operation.
The government is still recommending that people practice physical distancing and only go out for essential reasons such as picking up groceries, prescriptions or to keep a medical appointment.
“As we begin planning for the next phase of our fight against COVID-19, Ontarians should continue to stay home as much as possible to ensure we stop as quickly as possible the spread of this virus,” said Christine Elliott, deputy premier of Ontario and minister of health. “While we have made tremendous progress in our shared battle against this new virus, we are not done yet. We need to keep up the fight by continuing to practice physical distancing and good hygiene habits.”
On April 27, the government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario’s chief medical officer of health and health experts are using to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces.