Coronavirus: All non-essential workplaces ordered to close in Ontario

WATCH ABOVE: Premier Ford, ministers hold press conference on the province's COVID-19 response Monday

For a full list of workplaces deemed essential by the Ontario government, scroll to the bottom of this article.

Premier Doug Ford has ordered the closure of all non-essential workplaces in Ontario amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Ford said the order is to take effect Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. and will be in place for at least 14 days.

“The next 36 hours will give non-essential businesses the chance to adapt and prepare,” Ford said in a press conference Monday afternoon.

“We’re prepared to extend this order if necessary … The gravity of this order does not escape me, but as I’ve said from day one, we will and we must take all steps necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

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In a statement Monday evening, the Ontario government released a list of companies allowed to operate.

“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,” the statement said.

“Essential businesses are being asked to put into place any and all measures to safeguard the well-being of their employees on the front lines.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Only essential businesses allowed open in Ontario'
Coronavirus: Only essential businesses allowed open in Ontario

The statement went on to say working-from-home and online commerce practices were allowed to continue for all companies in Ontario.

The government called on businesses permitted to operate to enforce policies on physical distancing as well as increased hand washing.

Over the past week, Ford was asked several times about the possibility of ordering the closure of non-essential businesses in the province, but repeatedly said he would wait until he received advice to do so from the chief medical officer.

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“I am following that advice of our medical team, the chief medical officer of health,” Ford said.

“This is changing absolutely rapidly, hour by hour, and we have to react as it changes. We’ve made this decision, we had a long, long debate and consultation with our medical professionals and our cabinet.”

Click to play video: 'Premier Doug Ford orders closure of all non-essential workplaces'
Premier Doug Ford orders closure of all non-essential workplaces

When asked whether businesses that are ordered closed will be provided with compensation from the government, Ford said details would be provided when the government releases a financial plan on Wednesday.

Global News has learned the LCBO and the Ontario Cannabis Store are among the businesses that will remain open.

The solicitor general said enforcement measures will be taken as needed.

“Our policing partners will be actively engaged and will be a part of that enforcement if and when it is necessary,” Sylvia Jones said.

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The government said a website and phone number will launch on Wednesday for inquiries.

Ford was asked specifically about whether or not construction sites would be mandated to close as a part of this order, after concerns were raised on social media and in a letter to the premier from the Central Ontario Building and Construction Trades Council regarding the state of sites.

“To have an outhouse overflowing, the picture I saw, it’s unacceptable and if they don’t do it, we will do it,” Ford said, adding that not all companies are to blame for such conditions.

“A message to every construction worker in this province: [if] you don’t feel safe, you don’t feel that you have the proper equipment, or the company’s not keeping you safe, leave the site. Leave the site and don’t come back.”
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Ford wouldn’t say outright if sites would be mandated to close. However, he said some projects, like the construction of a hospital in Vaughan, are essential.

He said he has been in touch with construction companies and labour unions.

Meanwhile, in that same press conference, Ford said Ontario students won’t be going back to class on April 6.

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Ontario reported 78 new coronavirus cases in the province Monday morning, bringing the total number of active cases to 489. It marked the largest single-day increase of cases in the province since the outbreak began.

Full list of workplaces deemed essential:
Source: Government of Ontario

“For the purposes of this order, businesses include any-for-profit, non-profit or other entity providing the goods and services described herein. This does not preclude the provision of work and services by entities not on this list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery.

Supply chains

1. Businesses that supply other essential businesses or essential services with the support, supplies, systems or services, including processing, packaging, distribution, delivery and maintenance necessary to operate;

Retail and wholesaling

2. Businesses engaged in the retail and wholesale sale of food, pet food and supplies, and household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences and businesses, including grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, markets and other similar retailers;

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3. Businesses that provide essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including feed, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding;

4. Beer, wine and liquor stores and alcohol producers, and stores that sell beer and wine through arrangements with authorized providers; cannabis stores and cannabis producers;

5. Gas stations, diesel, propane and heating fuel providers including providers of motor vehicle, aircraft and water/marine craft fuels;

6. Motor vehicle, auto-supply, auto and motor vehicle repair, including bicycle repair, aircraft repair, heavy equipment repair, watercraft/marine craft repairs, car and truck dealerships and related facilities;

7. Hardware stores and stores that provide hardware products necessary to the essential operations of residences and businesses;

8. Business providing pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical services, including pharmacies and dispensaries;

9. Businesses that supply office products and services, including providing computer products and related repair and maintenance services, for individuals working from home and for essential businesses;

10. Safety supply stores (for e.g. work clothes, personal protective equipment);

Food services and accommodations

11. Restaurants and other food facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or takeaway, together with food delivery services;

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12. Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities, including student residences;

Institutional, residential, commercial and industrial maintenance

13. Businesses that provide support and maintenance services, including urgent repair, to maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial industrial and residential properties and buildings, including, property management services, plumbers, electricians, custodial/janitorial workers, cleaning services, security services, fire safety and sprinkler systems, building systems maintenance and repair technicians and engineers, mechanics, (e.g. HVAC, escalator and elevator technicians), and other service providers who provide similar services

Telecommunications and IT infrastructure/service providers

14. Businesses engaged in providing or supporting Information Technology (IT) including online services, software products and related services, as well as the technical facilities such as data centres and other network facilities necessary for their operation and delivery;

15. Businesses providing telecommunications services (phone, internet, radio, cell phones etc) as well as support facilities such as call centres necessary for their operation and delivery;


16. Taxis and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for activities of daily living;

17. Businesses and facilities that provide transportation services to businesses and individuals including by air, water, road, and rail including providing logistical support, distribution services, warehousing and storage, including truck stops and tow operators;

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18. Businesses that provide materials and services for the operation, maintenance and safety of transportation systems (road, transit, rail, air and marine) including delivery of maintenance services such as clearing snow, response to collisions, and completing needed repairs to the transportation systems.

Manufacturing and production

19. Businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (e.g. primary metal/ steel, blow molding, component manufacturers, chemicals, etc. that feed the end-product manufacturer);

20. Businesses, facilities and services that support and facilitate the two- way movement of essential goods within integrated North American and Global supply chains.

Agriculture and food production

21. Businesses that farm, harvest, process, manufacture, produce or distribute food, including beverages, crops, animal products and by-products, aquaculture, hunting and fishing;

22. Businesses that support the food supply chain including assembly yards, livestock auctions, food distribution hubs, feed mills, farm equipment suppliers, feed suppliers, food terminals and warehouses, animal slaughter plants and grain elevators;

23. Business that support the safety of food including animal and plant health and animal welfare;

24. Businesses that provide veterinary services, and that supply veterinary and animal control medications and related supplies and testing kits;

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25. Businesses that help to ensure safe and effective waste management including deadstock, rendering, nutrient management, bio hazardous materials, green waste, packaging recycling;


26. Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space;

27. Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance;

28. Construction work and services, including demolition services, in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential sectors;

29. Construction work and services that supports health and safety environmental rehabilitation projects

Financial activities

30. Capital markets (e.g., the TSX);

31. Banking and activities related to credit intermediation; credit unions;

32. Insurance;

33. Businesses that provide pension services and employee benefits services;

34. Businesses that provide financial services including payment processing, the payroll division of any employer (as defined by the Employment Standards Act/Occupational Health and Safety Act), any entity whose operation is the administration of payroll, banks and credit unions;

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35. Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of mining materials and products (e.g. metals such as copper, nickel and gold) and that support supply chains in Northern Ontario including;

a. Mining operations, production and processing;

b. Mineral exploration and development;

c. Mining Supply and Services that support supply chains in the mining industry including maintenance of operations, health and safety.

36. Businesses that provide chemicals and gases to support the natural resource sector analytical labs and drinking water and wastewater sectors and other essential businesses;

37. Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of forestry products (e.g. lumber, pulp, paper, wood fuel, etc.);

38. Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of aggregates to support critical infrastructure repairs and emergency response requirements (e.g. sandbags, armour stone barriers, etc.);

39. Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of petroleum and petroleum by-products;

Environmental services

40. Businesses that support environmental management/monitoring and spill clean-up and response, including environmental consulting firms, professional engineers and geoscientists, septics haulers, well drillers, pesticides applicators and exterminators, management of industrial sewage/effluent (eg for mining operations), and environmental laboratories;

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Utilities and community services

41. Utilities, and businesses that support the provision of utilities and community services, including by providing products, materials and services needed for the delivery of utilities and community services:

a. Waste collection, waste/sewage treatment and disposal, operation of landfills, and hazardous waste disposal;

b. Potable drinking water;

c. Electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage;

d. Natural Gas distribution, transmission and storage,

e. Road construction and maintenance;

f. police, fire, emergency services including coroner services and pathology services;

g. corrections and courts services;

h. other government services including licenses and permits;

42. Businesses engaged in or supporting the operation, maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure (railways, dams, bridges, highways, erosion control structures, etc.);

Communications industries

43. Newspaper publishers;

44. Radio and television broadcasting;

45. Telecommunications providers;


46. Businesses and organizations that maintain research facilities and engage in research, including medical research and other research and development activities;

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47. Businesses that provide products and services that support research activities;

Health care and seniors care and social services

48. Organizations and providers that deliver home care services;

49. Retirement homes;

50. Long-term care facilities;

51. Independent health facilities;

52. Laboratories and specimen collection centres;

53. Manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, including medications, medical isotopes, vaccines and antivirals; medical devices and medical supplies

54. Manufacturers, logistics and distributors of products and/or services that support the delivery of health care in all locations (including but not limited to hospitals, labs, long-term care homes, other residential health care, physicians, nurse practitioners and midwives, and home care services);

55. Businesses that provide products and/or services that support the health sector or that provide health services, including mental health and addictions and counselling supports.

56. Businesses that sell, rent or repair assistive/mobility/medical devices, aids and/or supplies.

57. Businesses that provide personal support services (many seniors and persons with disabilities, who can afford to, hire individuals to assist with the activities of daily living).

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58. Health care professionals providing emergency care including dentists optometrists and physio-therapists;

59. Not-for-profit organizations that provide critical personal support services in home and also provide residential services for individuals with physical disabilities (such as the Centre for Independent Living and March of Dimes);

60. Businesses and all other 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, including but not limited to food banks, violence against women emergency shelters, homeless shelters, community housing, supportive housing, children’s aid societies, residential services for adults with developmental disabilities and for children, and custody and detention programs for young persons in conflict with the law;

Justice sector

61. Professional and social services that support the legal and justice system;

Other businesses

62. Rental and leasing services, including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental;

63. Businesses providing mailing, shipping, courier and delivery services, including post office boxes;

64. Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers;

65. Professional services including lawyers and paralegals, engineers, accountants, translators;

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66. Businesses providing funeral, mortician, cremation, transfer, and burial services, and any related goods and products (such as coffins and embalming fluid);

67. Land registration services, and real estate agent services and moving services;

68. Businesses providing security services including private security guards; monitoring or surveillance equipment and services;

69. Businesses providing staffing services, including temporary help;

70. Businesses that support the safe operations of residences and essential businesses;

71. Businesses that provide for the health and welfare of animals, including veterinarians, farms, boarding kennels, stables, animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, research facilities and other service providers;

72. Child care services for essential workers, and home child care services of less than six children;

73. Businesses providing cheque cashing services;

Business regulators and inspectors

74. Organizations, including administrative authorities, that regulate and inspect businesses.”

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