COVID-19 is something that we are all going to have to face together. Our primary concern is the health and safety of Ontarians.
We hope you are staying safe and healthy.
Thank you to all the province’s essential services workers and those on the front-line. You step up everyday to ensure individuals, families and seniors have what they need to stay safe and healthy.
Thank you to everyone else who is staying home and practicing physical distancing.
It is important to listen to the advice of Public Health experts:
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Practice social-distancing
- Stay home if you’re not feeling well
- If you are concerned or suspect you have the virus, call
Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000 or
Ottawa Public Health: 613-580-6744
New as of May 14
Today, the Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government’s reopening framework. The workplaces opening as part this stage are well-positioned to put workplace safety measures in place and get more people back to work, while not overburdening public transit and other services.
The government also announced additional seasonal services and activities will be permitted to open as early as Saturday May 16, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, as key public health indicators continue to show progress.
The details were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
As soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020:
- Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.
- Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.
- Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.
- Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.
The government’s responsible and measured approach to reopening will allow business owners and service provider’s time to ensure workplaces are safe for staff, consumers and the general public. Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, Ontario’s first stage of reopening will begin on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and 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, all based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The government and health and safety associations have released more than 90 safety guidance documents to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing. As new sectors of the economy begin to reopen, additional resources will be made available to help protect the safety of workers and the general public.
To support business-owners, workers and the economic recovery of the province, the government has launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.
The government continues to prioritize the needs of patients, frontline health care workers and first responders when it comes to having critical equipment and supplies to protect themselves during the COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses are encouraged to access only the PPE they need to keep their employees and customers safe.
To ensure that these first actions to reopen the province are a success, the public should continue to adhere to public health measures, including practising physical distancing or wearing a face covering when physical distancing is difficult or not possible, as well as regular handwashing and staying home when ill. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when certain public health restrictions, including adjustments to social gatherings can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.
Starting May 17, 2020, the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) will begin permanent intercommunity bus service from White River to Thunder Bay with three return trips per week. The agency will also provide new permanent intercommunity bus service from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg, starting May 18, 2020, with two return trips per week.
The expanded bus service to Winnipeg from Thunder Bay will travel along Highway 17 via Dryden and Kenora and provide stops at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg and the University of Winnipeg.
Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the federal and provincial governments are launching the second intake of the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program to help farmers enhance health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus. The funding will be used for initiatives like purchasing personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and redesigning workstations.
Support is also available for farmers who experience unexpected costs for housing and transportation as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak among on-farm employees.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is now accepting applications and will expedite the approval process to help support workplace health and safety in the agri-food sector. Eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.
Today’s announcement is in addition to the $2.25 million investment announced last week to help provincially-licensed meat processors implement COVID-19 health and safety measures.
The Agri-food Workplace Protection Program builds on previous actions taken by the federal and provincial government to support the agri-food sector. This includes $1 million to help Ontario farmers, food processors and other agri-food supply chain partners address labour shortages, as well as $2.5 million to improve e-business opportunities for Ontario’s agri-food sector.
Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed support to approximately 2,500 projects through the Partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.
With the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend and the warmer weather ahead, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding all travellers that the travel restrictions announced in March are still in place at all of Canada’s international border crossings.
The Government of Canada introduced these border measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, including the restriction of all non-essential travel into Canada.
All travel of an optional or discretionary nature, including tourism, recreation and entertainment, is covered by these measures across all ports of entry in all modes of transportation – land, marine, air and rail.
With the travel restrictions still in place, foreign nationals, including United States (U.S.) citizens, will not be allowed to enter Canada if they attempt to come for any of the following examples of discretionary (non-essential) travel:
- opening or checking on a cottage or seasonal home;
- boating across the border;
- fishing or hunting;
- attending a party or celebration;
- visiting family, friends, partners or a girlfriend, boyfriend or fiancé(e);
- driving in transit for the purpose of taking a shortcut through Canada to get to a U.S. destination faster;
- picking up a pet; and,
The CBSA is also reminding boaters that crossing the border for recreation or tourism purposes is currently prohibited. Boaters should visit the CBSA website for more information.
All travellers entering Canada, including foreign national boaters who drop anchor in Canadian waters, must report to the CBSA. Failing to report is a serious offence, subject to potential penalty, seizure action, loss of trusted traveller program membership, and prosecution under the Customs Act or Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Starting June 1, 2020, Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada will gradually resume some operations at selected national parks, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas and national wildlife areas
The health and safety of all Canadians, including visitors, employees, and local communities, is the priority for the Government of Canada in the operation of federal protected places. Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada are following the advice of public health experts and continue to make every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Being outdoors and in nature brings a number of health and wellness benefits. As all Canadians do their part to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important they have access to places where they can get fresh air, exercise and practice physical distancing.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that starting June 1, 2020, the Government of Canada will gradually resume some operations at certain national parks, national historic sites, historic waterways, and national marine conservation areas. This will include access to some trails, day use areas, and green spaces, and some access for recreational boating, as well as the gradual resumption of some key field-based ecological and cultural resource protection activities. Environment and Climate Change Canada will also gradually resume some operations at selected national wildlife areas, including conservation activities and day use access for visitors on June 1, 2020.
Parks Canada will continue to work closely with local tourism-related businesses and associations throughout the gradual resumption of operations. The Agency will also inform visitors of the appropriate physical distancing, hygiene and safety measures to follow.
Until June 1, suspensions of visitor services and closures of facilities announced in March remain in place, including over the Victoria Day long weekend. For their own safety, Canadians should not try to access locations that are closed.
All camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21, 2020, while Parks Canada assesses whether and how these services might resume. Group activities and public events will be prohibited until further notice.
Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada operate a wide variety of federally protected places across Canada and different measures are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in different jurisdictions. As a result, opening dates, visitor access and services will vary across the country. The government will only open places where measures for the health and safety of employees and visitors are in place.
The Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada websites will provide detailed information soon on what locations are open, what visitors can expect, how to prepare for visiting and what services may be available. Canadians are encouraged to visit pc.gc.ca frequently for information and updates.
Ontario has created a new self-assessment tool
If you think you have 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment to help determine if you need to seek further care. Visit here.
If you require help in Ottawa South, please visit our website for Community links and contacts.