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'Get ready,' Ford says to businesses as Ontario releases 'sector-specific' guidelines for reopening
Published Thursday, April 30, 2020 3:19PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 1, 2020 11:12AM EDT
The province has released more than 60 "sector-specific" guidelines to help businesses reopen safely when the provincial government decides to move forward with its plan to restart Ontario's economy.
Speaking at a news conference at Queen's Park on Thursday, Premier Doug Ford said the guidelines provide advice to people working in various industries, including retail, health care, manufacturing, tourism, restaurant and food service, offices, construction sites, and transit and transportation services.
The guidelines will help companies "adapt" to our "new reality," Ford said.
"This pandemic has turned our lives upside down... but we are winning this fight and we will win this fight," he said.
"Today we are telling our businesses how to be ready for when we get that green light."
Some of the recommendations suggest employees in retail stores limit the number of people allowed inside at one time and consider minimizing or eliminating the handling of cash.
For workers in hospitality, the province recommends doing things like replacing guest buffets with packaged food stations and eliminating non-essential amenities in guest rooms.
Physical distancing measures and enhanced cleaning procedures have been recommended across the board for almost all industries.
Ontario's Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton said the province has also added close to 60 more labour inspectors to communicate the new safety guidelines and enforce emergency measures.
"Employers are doing a good job but we have to do better and this is important now," he said. "We are doing everything in our power to ensure workers are safe."
Ford said he is "laser-focused" on opening the province "as quickly" as possible in a "safe and measured way."
"Today we are on the path to reopening the economy because that curve is flattening," he said. "We are getting close, get ready."