Ontario allowing retail stores with street entrances to offer curbside pickup and delivery

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At a May 11 press conference, Ontario Premier Doug Ford discussed additional measures to help cope with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and announced that starting today, additional people across the province will be returning to work as the Ontario government is now allowing retail stores with a street entrance to offer curbside pickup and delivery.

Today’s update was provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance.

This past weekend, garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores began offering in-store purchasing.

However, it is still crucial that all retailers continue to follow available safety guidelines in order to protect staff, consumers and the general public during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Additionally, provincial parks and conservation reserves will begin opening today (May 11) with limited access.

Currently, recreational activities will be restricted to walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching, to start and people will be able to access all parks and conservation reserves for free until the end of May.

“The reopening of more businesses and provincial parks is a clear sign that we are making progress in our battle against COVID-19,” said Premier Ford.

“We are getting more people back to work when safe to do so and laying the groundwork for a full economic recovery. At the same time, we are moving carefully and cautiously to ensure we don’t put people at risk and remain ready to respond to any potential outbreaks or surges in cases.”

Minister Phillips said, “As we see more positive signs on the public health front, the fight for business-owners, for workers and for families continues.” 

“Our Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee is actively working towards the next important step, which is reopening our province so we can get the people of Ontario back on the job safely. We are all going to have to work together to get our economy growing again. And now more than ever, the Ontario Spirit will ensure we’re successful in these next steps,” he said.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and its health and safety association partners have now released over 80 sector-specific health and safety guidelines, which include guidelines for curbside pickup and delivery services.

The Ministry of Health has also released a Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces.

Business owners should use these guidelines to help develop reopening plans that make sense for their businesses as well as to protect workers, customers and the general public as Ontario prepares for the gradual reopening of the economy.

The easing of restrictions on retail stores falls within the first phase of the government’s Framework for Reopening our Province, Protect and Support.

This framework allows businesses that can operate safely to do so and also includes guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces.

It also sets out the criteria that Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts are using to advise the government on whether to adjust or loosen public health measures.

“Together, we have made tremendous progress in our shared battle against COVID-19,” said Minister Elliott.

“There is still work to be done. Each of us needs to keep up the fight by continuing to practise physical distancing, frequent handwashing and staying home when ill. Let’s continue to do our part.”

Ford concluded his announcement by stating that the province avoided the worst-case scenario. 

“There are many reasons to be optimistic right now,” said Ford, after revealing the number of COVID-19 cases reported yesterday.

“These numbers are a good sign that we’re going in the right direction.” 

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