A Framework for Reopening our Province - Stage 1: Phase 2
In A Framework for Reopening our Province, the government laid out Ontario’s approach to reopening our province in order to get people back to work. The framework provided the principles the government will use to reopen businesses, services and public spaces in three stages while maintaining the health and safety of the people of Ontario as our top priority.
As with every step taken in the fight against COVID-19, Ontario will proceed with caution and in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts. Stage 1 of the framework provides business owners, workers and families with the information they need to reopen safely in this new environment and make the restart of Ontario’s economy a success.
What Stage 1 of the Restart Means for You
The first stage of reopening will focus on workplaces that are well-positioned to follow public health advice to maintain physical distancing, implement workplace safety guidance and limit gatherings. Stage 1 will also lessen the pressure on public transit and other services, giving them more time to safely prepare for future stages. As part of Ontario’s cautious and responsible approach, protections for vulnerable people will continue to be maintained throughout each stage of restarting.
As noted in A Framework for Reopening our Province, key public health indicators will guide when Ontario progresses to each stage of the restart in order to help lower the risk of outbreaks and prevent a surge in the health system. Public health experts will carefully monitor each stage so that the province can benefit from best practices and lessons learned, and adjust measures as needed as we move towards Stage 2 and 3. The government will continue to plan for what comes next and provide more details on each stage of reopening when the time is right.
Keeping Workplaces Safe
Keeping workplaces, staff and the general public safe as Ontario gradually reopens is the government’s primary focus. Key workplace safety considerations include:
• The risk of the spread of COVID-19 in each workplace or sector.
• The ability to conduct business and/or services remotely.
• The ability to adjust business and/or service practices to ensure physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and cleaning, monitoring of sick workers, and use of personal protective equipment, if necessary.
• The ability to clean workplaces, which may require restrictions on space available to employees and customers (e.g., curbside pick-up, closing sections).
With key public health measures in place and workplace safety guidance available, Ontario can gradually begin to reopen workplaces, but working from home should continue as much as possible. The Chief Medical Officer of Health has provided guidance on how the openings of businesses and workplaces could be implemented safely. The government has also developed fact sheets for staying safe, including when and how to wear a face mask, how to take care of yourself and each other, and how to care for your pets.