Thousands of People Returned to Work Today in Ontario

The gradual reopening of the Province has started, as thousands of people returned to work today under strict new Provincial Guidelines.

ONTARIO - The gradual reopening of the Province started this weekend with the opening of Garden Centres and Hardware Stores. 

Today, the Province is allowing retail stores with a street entrance to offer curbside pickup and delivery. All retailers should follow available safety guidelines in order to protect staff, consumers and the general public during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In addition, provincial parks and conservation reserves will begin opening today with limited access. To start, recreational activities will be restricted to walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching. People will be able to access all parks and conservation reserves for free until the end of the month.

Premier Doug Ford says we are starting to make progress with reopening the economy. 

"The reopening of more businesses and provincial parks is a clear sign that we are making progress in our battle against COVID-19. We are getting more people back to work when safe to do so and laying the groundwork for a full economic recovery. At the same time, we are moving carefully and cautiously to ensure we don't put people at risk and remain ready to respond to any potential outbreaks or surges in cases."

Ford adds we do have reason for optimism right now. 

"Everything we've done, every step we've take, has always put the health and safety of the people of Ontario first, we listened to our health experts and acted quickly and within 8 weeks, we have come a long way. We avoided the worst case scenerio, an estimated death toll of 6,000 people and tens of thousands of infections. We have reasons for optimism right now, yesterday we had 294 new cases, the lowest increase in 6 weeks, today we have 308 new cases, but please remember, we are looking for a trend and these numbers are a sign we are going in the right direction." 

Ford also says we have a long way to go.

"We are reopening things safely and with strict public health measures in place, today thousands of people are earning a pay cheque again. We have a framework to open our economy gradually and safely, we have workplace safety guidelines that will help businesses adapt to our new reality. My friends, we have a come a long way, but we still have a long way to go."

The Premier will be making more announcements about the reopening of the economy in the coming days. 

You can find more information about the guidelines here and you can listen to the statement from the Premier below. 

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