The provincial and municipal governments have announced some easing of restrictions in the on-going covid-19 pandemic. It is emphasised, however, that in all cases, measures can be reimposed if physical distancing and other precautions are not maintained in the community.
The Municipality of North Grenville has re-opened the roads in the Ferguson Forest Centre to allow for easier access to the trails there. The public are also encouraged to use the trails on the Kemptville Campus to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. Mayor Peckford pointed out, however: “With warmer weather, I know so many of us look forward to being outside, as long as physical distancing is always respected. If this can’t be done, we will be forced to make difficult decisions”. The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville have also announced the re-opening of Limerick Forest for walkers, although the parking lots will remain closed to prevent impinging on physical distancing. Walkers are advised to be careful when parking on the side of roads.
Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health has provided general recommendations on how the openings of businesses and workplaces could be implemented to support safe operations, including strict adherence to health and safety requirements.
“We are allowing certain businesses to reopen under strict guidelines because we are confident they can operate safely and adapt to the current environment,” said Premier Ford. “While further reductions in the spread are needed before we can begin reopening the province, we have the right framework and the right workplace guidelines in place to do so gradually and safely.”
The government, in partnership with Ontario’s health and safety associations, has developed more than 60 guidelines in response to Covid-19. These sector-specific measures will help employers prepare their workplaces so they can be reopened safely and ensure workers, customers and the general public are protected.
By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses were permitted to begin operations as of Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m.: Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only; lawn care and landscaping.
Additional essential construction projects that include shipping and logistics; broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure; any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services; municipal projects; colleges and universities; child care centres; schools; and site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development; automatic and selfserve car washes; auto dealerships, open by appointment only.
Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.
Although certain businesses are being permitted to reopen, the Ontario Government have warned that it is critical that people continue to stay home, practise physical distancing and only go out for essential reasons, to pick up groceries, prescriptions or to keep a medical appointment.
Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, was explicit in stating the situation: “Our response has always been based on the current status of the outbreak in our province, and on what makes sense for Ontario. To be clear ― we haven’t moved into the reopening phase of our re-sponse to Covid-19. Not yet. But based on the best public health advice available to us, we are a step closer.”