Late last week, the first stage of eased restrictions in our community was announced. I wanted to share some of these important details with you so you can know what to expect in the coming days.
Please remember that we are not out of the woods. Please continue to be vigilant in your physical distancing practices, frequently wash your hands, and use personal protective equipment like cloth masks when appropriate.
While Ontario's numbers are moving in the right direction, I am concerned that the government's decision to issue health and safety “guidelines” instead of enforceable rules will put people’s health at risk. As MPP Andrea Horwath has said, “some employers will work hard to keep people as safe as they can when they re-open following the COVID-19 peak. And some absolutely will not. Allowing individual employers to decide if their employees, customers and suppliers get to be adequately protected will put people at risk, and hurt us all if it leads to a resurgence of COVID-19.”
If you are a front line worker, or if a front line worker in your life is feels their health is being neglected at work, please reach out to my office.
As of Tuesday, May 19 the first stage of re-opening will include:
- Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with 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.
- Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.
- Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
- Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
- Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.
- Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling; in-person services, in addition to virtual services, delivered by health professionals; and scheduled surgeries.
The full detailed list of stage 1 re-openings is available here.
Sector-specific resources for how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace is available here.
If you have any questions or concerns about stage 1 of the re-opening, please reach out to my office.