Province extends business closures

Ontario cuts essential workplaces to limit COVID-19 spread

ONTARIO PREMIER DOUG Ford announced that the province will be shutting down some parts of the province’s construction industry amid additional efforts to contain COVID-19. 

The changes come as the government updates its list of essential businesses and services in response to recommendations from public health officials to further restrict physical interactions between people.

Private sector industrial, commercial and institutional projects will be affected, while public sector infrastructure work and some residential construction will be allowed to continue. 

Projects related to the healthcare sector, including any work necessary to ensure the production of critical equipment and medical devices, as well those required to maintain the operations of petrochemical plants and refineries, will be exempted from the shut down.

In addition, Ontario’s retail cannabis outlets have been taken off the essential list and will be forced to close, although people can still order from the province’s online store. 

The government is ordering all businesses not covered by the updated Emergency Order to close effective as of Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves.

Ford said he’ll continue to follow the advice of public health officials to determine whether the list of essential businesses needs to be further refined, but reaffirmed that supply chains for food and other essential items will remain in place, meaning grocery stores and pharmacies, for example, will remain open.

The updated essential businesses list can be found here.

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