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Some Ontario businesses allowed to reopen as COVID-19 restrictions loosen

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Ontario retailers get ready to reopen' Coronavirus: Ontario retailers get ready to reopen
WATCH ABOVE (May 18, 2020): Coronavirus: Ontario retailers get ready to reopen. As Seán O’Shea reports, it won’t be business as usual when the doors open. – May 18, 2020

Some Ontario businesses will be allowed to open their doors today after being closed for two months in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The province is starting the first stage of its economic reopening today, giving the green light to retailers, some sports centres, vehicle dealerships and other businesses to resume.

But the provincial government stresses those businesses still have to comply with public health guidelines such as physical distancing as they welcome customers.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ontario outlines what can restart for Stage 1 of reopening province beginning Tuesday

Some business owners have expressed relief and excitement at the prospect of reopening, while others say they feel it’s too early to do so safely.

The province ordered the closure of all businesses deemed non-essential in mid-March and recently allowed those with street entrances to offer curbside pickup.

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Ontario reported 304 more cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the provincial total to 22,957.

There have been 1,904 deaths related to the virus so far, including 23 that were reported Monday.