Added April 20, 2020, Beyond Rewards has offered the following to help businesses demonstrate to authorities (Ministry of Labour, Enforcement Bylaw Officers and Police) if they are essential businesses. Also, if your workplace is an essential service or you have staff still working onsite you will need to follow social distancing rules in the workplace. You should have the following in place:
- Have hand sanitizer at the door that they use as they enter the workplace
- A sign on the door stating you are an essential service
- Markings on the floor outlining the social distancing i.e. tape on the floor stopping people at a doorway and not entering the individual office space as a social distancing measure etc. (I know a bit excessive as people should be smart enough to figure out the 2 metres/6’ spacing requirement).
All employees and management must carry a letter bearing the company’s letter head with them at all times indicating they work for an essential service and that they need to commute to and from the workplace. The letter must explain how the company is considered an essential service and the employee an essential worker. The letter should indicate who it is provided to and that it is provided to abide by the guidelines designating the workplace as essential and exempt from closure. This position also requires the employee the ability to travel to and from the address indicated in order to conduct business.
Also, indicate who the authorities need to contact if they have questions.
Two people from the same workplace, who do not live together, cannot travel in the same vehicle unless they are social distancing – 6 feet away from each other.
On April 7, 2020, the government introduced a new emergency regulation permitting authorized cannabis retail stores to operate for a period of 14 days from the date of the order, notwithstanding the earlier removal of cannabis stores from the government’s list of essential workplaces. Products must either be delivered or picked up in outdoor areas in close proximity to the retail store, subject to certain conditions.
On April 3, 2020, following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close. This measure is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the people of Ontario, while ensuring that necessary goods and services remain available.
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. Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses. All supply chains necessary for the production of vital food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact.
The updated essential businesses list can be found here. With some exceptions, this includes contruction sites. All cannabis store locations have also been ordered to close. Online sale of cannabis continues.
Businesses that sell or provide hardware products, vehicle parts and supplies, pet and animal supplies, office supplies and computer products including computer repair and safety supplies among others must find an alternative method of sale such as delivery or curb-side pickup or close.
Supermarkets and grocery stores, big box retailers selling groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies, gas stations, LCBO and Beer Store locations will remain open. Restaurants may continue to offer take-out, drive-through, and delivery. The government has also emphasized that all supply chains necessary for the production of food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact.
Previously published: To further contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario Government announced on March 23, 2020, it will order the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending the order as the situation evolves.
Businesses are being given approximately 36 hours to prepare and adapt (i.e., continue operations with employees working remotely, or through other contingency measures) allowing operations to continue. Teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses.
Essential services may continue their operations to maintain supply chains and ensure the people of Ontario have access to necessities, including groceries, medicines and other essential products. Essential businesses include, but are not limited to grocery stores and pharmacies, telecommunications and IT infrastructure service providers, and businesses that support power generation, natural gas distribution and clean drinking water. Essential businesses are being asked to put into place any and all measures to safeguard the wellbeing of their employees on the front-lines. A full list of businesses that are permitted to stay open can be found here. Also, a 1-800 number and website will be made available on Wednesday for any inquiries.
“Based on the advice of Dr. Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the experts at our Command Table, Ontario is taking further action to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “These enhanced measures are necessary to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians. Nothing is more important.”