Ontario Updates List of Essential Businesses; Additional Businesses in Ontario to close by 11:59 p.m. tomorrow

Business closures will remain in effect for at least 14 days to help stop the spread of COVID-19

The Ontario government released this news release at 2:15 p.m. today with a link to an updated essential businesses list found here. Many businesses that were previously considered “essential workplaces” are no longer designated as such and must close their physical locations by 11:59 p.m. tomorrow, April 4, 2020.

This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves. Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses.

Business owners with questions concerning their essential business status are encouraged to call the Stop the Spread hotline at 1-888-444-3659.

The Ontario government emphasized in its news release the importance of the following recommendations:

  • Everyone in Ontario should stay home unless absolutely necessary and practice physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people.  Avoid close contact (within 2 metres) with people outside of your immediate families.
  • If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.
  • Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health: wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; sneeze and cough into your sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; avoid contact with people who are sick; and stay home if you are sick.