'Tens of thousands back to work': Ontario retailers can now offer curbside pickup
OTTAWA -- Retailers in Ottawa and across Ontario are getting set to reopen Monday, as the province eases restrictions on non-essential businesses.
Stores with a street entrance are being allowed to call their employees back and offer curbside pickup and delivery to their customers. It's the most significant move to date in Ontario's economic reopening plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, hardware stores, and safety supply stores opened fully over the weekend, allowing customers inside, with many new restrictions.
Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli, tells CTV Morning Live he expects this move will help get tens of thousands of Ontarians back to work.
"It's gotta be a slow roll here," he tells CTV Morning Live's Annette Goerner, "but there's tens of thousands of people going back to work today."
Statistics Canada says more than one million Ontarians lost their jobs in March and April.
The next steps to reopening the economy, however, will depend on how well the pandemic curve continues to flatten.
"When we know that the science is there, we'll look at the next package of business that can be opened," Fedeli says. "There will be more information this week. Whether or not dates are attached will depend on the pandemic."
Fedeli says the next stages of reopening Ontario include more use of outdoor facilities and allowing some larger gatherings. 500 provincial parks are set to reopen Monday to daytime use, with restrictions.
Some construction projects are also allowed to begin Monday.
Curbside pickup restrictions
The new measures to allow retailers to reopen and offer curbside pickup and delivery come with restrictions and rules from the province to ensure business is done safely.
Both employees and customers are being asked to follow the new rules to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The new restrictions include encouraging the use of debit, credit, or online payments, and asking customers to remain in their vehicles while products are being loaded. Customers are also discouraged from bringing their own bags or containers.
Retailers will be required to ensure a steady flow of traffic to minimize the time required to deliver a customer's order to their car and must have clear visuals to indicate the pickup area.
A full list of public health measures for curbside pickup and delivery services can be found here.