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Ontario announces curbside pickup for storefront retail, full reopening of garden and hardware shops

Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario to allow select non-essential businesses to reopen
WATCH ABOVE: Ontario to allow select non-essential businesses to reopen

Premier Doug Ford has announced that more businesses can reopen and offer curbside pickup in the coming days as Ontario heads into Mother’s Day weekend.

On Friday, May 8 at 12:01 a.m., garden centres and nurseries will be allowed to fully reopen, and not just provide delivery and curbside pickup, so long as they abide by the same measures that grocery stores and pharmacies are expected to follow.

“So heading into Mother’s Day this weekend, please be sure to support your local garden centre and nursery and pick up some nice flowers for all the great moms out there,” Ford said Wednesday at a daily briefing on the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ontario extends all emergency orders until May 19

On Saturday, May 9 at 12:01 a.m., hardware stores and safety supply stores will be allowed to reopen.

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“This means people will be able to shop in stores as long as these businesses follow strict public health measures to protect staff and customers,” Ford said, repeating measures such as physical distancing, contactless payment options and sanitizing surfaces should be upheld.

These businesses can also continue to offer delivery and curbside pickup, Ford said.

As of Monday, May 11 at 12:01 a.m., retail stores with a street entrance will be allowed to provide curbside pick up and delivery only.

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Ford said these businesses too will have to follow strict health measures set out in guidelines that the province has provided.

READ MORE: 412 new coronavirus cases, 68 deaths in Ontario as total cases rise to 18,722

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The premier said for a dense city like Toronto it will be up to the mayor on protocol and guidelines for businesses with a street entrance.

“There’s a tale of two cities in Toronto,” Ford said. “There’s the downtown, Dundas Square and Queen Street may be a lot busier but if you go to Etobicoke, where I live, or Scarborough or North York, you aren’t going to have these big lineups.”

“In fact, the retailers wish there was four or five people waiting in line to get into their stores,” Ford continued. “But I fully understand downtown is a whole different kettle of fish, and Mayor Tory is going to be putting in the proper protocols to make sure that number one, the health and wellbeing of the citizens of Toronto are taken care of.”

He also announced permitting demolition work related to essential construction projects and multi-residential unit residential projects such as condos and apartments.

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“We will move forward, but we will move cautiously,” Ford said.

“We are at the start of a long road, and a long journey of recovery. The hard work of rebuilding what we have lost is still ahead of us.”

As of Wednesday, Ontario reported a total of 18,722 cases and 1,429 deaths due to COVID-19.

The government also extended all emergency orders until May 19 and hydro rate relief for residences, farmers and small businesses has been extended until May 31.