COVID-19

Ontario Releases Updated List of Essential Workplaces Protected from Closure Directive

On April 3, 2020, the Ontario Government updated the list of essential businesses that can remain open. By 11:59pm Saturday, April 4, 2020, businesses that are not identified on the list must close their physical locations.  Please refer to the link below for a complete list.  The following are some highlights from the government’s list.

  • Supply chains, supporting other essential businesses
  • Food, businesses that primarily sell food, beverage and consumer products necessary to maintain household and businesses including:
    • Supermarkets and grocery stores;
    • Convenience stores;
    • Discount and big box retailers selling groceries;
    • Restaurants (take-out, drive-through and delivery service only);
    • Beer and wine and liquor stores.
  • Services including, but not limited to
    • Pharmacies;
    • Gas stations and other fuel suppliers;
    • Vehicle and equipment repair;
    • Courier, postal, shipping, moving and delivery services;
    • Veterinary services (urgent only).
    • Home Child Care Services up to six children as permitted by legislation
    • Hotels, motels other shared rental accommodations
  • Services to the public that are restricted to alternative methods of sale (such as curb side pickup or delivery), including
    • Hardware products;
    • Vehicle parts and supplies
    • Pet and animal supplies;
    • Office supplies;
    • Safety supplies.
  • Financial services, including
    • Banking
    • Capital markets and related securities trading;
    • Insurance;
    • Pension and benefits payment services.
  • Telecommunications and IT infrastructure/service providers
  • Maintenance, repair, and property management services strictly necessary to manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings.
  • Transportation services including
    • Transportation services provided by air, water, road and rail, including taxis and other private transportation providers
    • Support services for transportation including logistical support.
  • Manufacturing, including businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers
  • Agriculture and food production including businesses that support the food or agricultural supply chains
  • Construction including
    • Healthcare sector;
    • Critical to provincial infrastructure;
    • Critical industrial construction activities required for:
      • Petrochemical plants and refineries;

Production, maintenance and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devise and other identified products related to combatting COVID-19 pandemic

  • Residential projects where
    • A footing permit has been granted for a single family, semi-detached and townhomes;
    • An above grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums, mixed use and other buildings, or
    • The project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before April 4, 2020.
    • Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing public safety.
  • Resources and energy including but not limited to
    • Mining;
    • Forestry;
    • Petroleum;
    • Electricity generation.
  • Community services including
    • Sewage treatment and disposal;
    • Potable drinking water;
    • Critical infrastructure repair and maintenance including roads, dams, bridges etc.
    • Professional and social services that support that legal and justice system;
    • Government services that include, but not limited to, policing and law enforcement, fire and emergency services, paramedic, coroner, and court services.
  • Research and organizations that maintain research facilities and engage in research, including medical research and other research and development activities
  • Health care and social services including
    • Home care or personal support services to seniors and person with disabilities;
    • Businesses that that sell, rent or repair assistive/mobility/medical devices, aids and/or supplies;
    • Regulated health professionals (urgent care only) including dentists, optometrists, chiropractic services, ophthalmologists, physical and occupational therapists and podiatrists;
    • Organizations that provide health care including retirement homes, hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, independent health facilities and mental health and addictions counselling supports;
    • Not-for profit organizations that support the provision of food, shelter, safety or protection, and/or social services and other necessities of life to economically disadvantaged and other vulnerable individuals.

Businesses include any for-profit, non-profit or other entity providing the goods and services described herein.

This order does not stop the provision of work and services by entities not on this list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery. This also does not stop the operation or delivery of services of any publicly funded agency or organization that delivers or supports government operations and services, including operations and services of the health care sector.

Teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses

The complete list of essential businesses can be found on the Ontario Government website here.

We will continue to update our clients with information as soon as it becomes available. If you have any questions about this topic, other COVID-19 related questions, or would like assistance with developing and/or reviewing pandemic plans, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer, or refer to the Firm’s COVID-19 website resources.

Print article

More insights

COVID-19 Employer Update Webinars

Our complimentary webinars address the practical and legal issues for Canadian employers arising from the current outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

View our Webinars