Retail stores in Ontario will be allowed to reopen for curbside pickup next week
As the spread of the virus continues to slow within Ontario, more and more businesses are getting the green light to reopen after almost eight weeks in lockdown.
Next up on the list (after hardware stores and garden centres, both of which can reopen for in-store shopping this weekend) are retail stores — albeit in a very, very limited capacity.
Premier Doug Ford announced on Wednesday that all non-essential retail stores with a street entrance could officially start providing curbside pickup services beginning this Monday, May 11, at 12:01 a.m.
No, we can't walk into the mall and browse around or anything, but we can once again pick up items from stores in our own neighbourhoods (as opposed to waiting three weeks for Amazon to deliver.)
🚨Premier Ford’s announcement on REOPENING some businesses:— Kamil Karamali (@KamilKaramali) May 6, 2020
• May 8: Garden centres, nurseries allowed to open
• May 9: Hardware and supply stores to open
• May 11: retail stores allowed curbside pickup#covid19on #covid19ontario #covodcanada pic.twitter.com/PeAV2Ii2Uo
"We haven't been sitting on our hands. Whether it's releasing our framework for reopening or putting in place the workplace safety guidelines needed to help businesses adapt to the new environment, we've been laying the groundwork for the safe, measured, and gradual reopening of our province," said Ford in a release following his daily press conference this afternoon.
"As the trends improve, we can move forward with reopening more and more of our economy and getting people back to work."
The government specified in its announcement that all curbside pickup and delivery services must be carried out in accordance with the Ministry of Health's Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements.
"Businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines, such as promoting physical distancing and frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering shifts, and using contactless payment options to stop the spread of COVID-19," it reads.
So long as new cases of the virus keep dropping, Ford seems optimistic that other types of businesses — such as bars and restaurants — could reopen to the public before long (though no dates have yet been set, as the situation is constantly evolving.)
"The health and safety of every Ontarian will always be our top priority as we continue planning for the next phase of our fight against COVID-19," said Minister of Health Christine Elliot, who joined Ford to make his announcement on Wednesday.
"Together, each of us have put in tremendous effort to stop the spread, and because of these collective efforts we have made tangible progress. More than ever, we need to continue practicing physical distancing while we slowly and carefully reopen Ontario's economy."
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