More businesses allowed to reopen Saturday, Tuesday

Ontario Premier Doug Ford. (Premier's Office of Ontario via Newswatch Group)

TORONTO – Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced a list of businesses and services that will be able to reopen, some as soon as Saturday for the Victoria Day weekend.

The seasonal services allowed to open Saturday for the long weekend include golf courses with clubhouses only open for washrooms and restaurants for take-out.

Private campgrounds and parks can open for season preparation on Saturday and allow trailer and RV owners with full-season contracts to access their sites. Marinas and public boat launches may open for recreational use.

People who have animals at boarding places, like stables, will be able to care for or ride their animals.

Next Tuesday (May 19), a whole other batch of businesses will be able to reopen, provided they have protective measures in place.

Those include retail stores with street entrances (not in shopping malls), select sports and sporting competitions where physical distancing can be maintained like tennis or track and field, pet grooming and training services, regular veterinary appointments, and indoor and outdoor household services provided public health guidelines are followed.

The government is also lifting essential workplace limits on construction.

Some medical and health services, like in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries under certain conditions, will be allowed to proceed Tuesday. Health Minister Christine Elliott says those surgeries are dependent on the readiness of the hospital.

But Premier Ford said if there’s a flare up of cases, these might change. “Let’s hope the trend continues (downward).” The Tuesday openings are assuming trends in the key public health indicators continue to improve.

The businesses were selected because they were “well-positioned to put workplace safety measures in place and get more people back to work” without burdening other services like public transit.