Starting tomorrow, Saturday, May 9, hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases. On Monday, May 11, all retail stores with a street entrance can also begin to offer curbside pickup and delivery. Garden centres and nurseries are already permitted to be open for in-store payment and purchases and are operating under the same guidelines that grocery stores and pharmacies have been following.
The Emergency Operations Centre has worked with Toronto Public Health, the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild, Transportation Services, and other City divisions to help draft guidelines for businesses to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and encourage physical distancing.
Examples of how business owners can help keep employees and customers safe include:
- Actively managing entry into their stores by placing employees, signage and visual cues such as cones or tape
- Encouraging employees and customers to wear face coverings, such as non-medical masks or scarves
- Managing lines inside the store by placing tape every two metres (six feet)
- Allowing for online or over the phone orders
- Scheduling pickup times for customers
- Defining a process for how employees interact with customers – especially related to loading vehicles and payments
- Where possible, only accepting payments by credit card, debit or gift card
As businesses in Toronto consider how to allow curbside pickup, they should continue to follow advice from public health experts by planning to manage physical distancing for customers and employees, both inside and outside their stores; support proper hand hygiene; keep surfaces and objects clean; and find ways to limit contact between people. Tips for businesses are available on toronto.ca at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-economic-support-recovery-for-businesses/covid-19-business-sector-resources/?accordion=retail-sector-support-curbto-zones-and-noise-bylaw
While the curbside pick-up accommodation is meant to help businesses get going again, business should be carried out in a manner that is consistent with the continuing public health challenge. Business owners should not initiate sales or promotions designed to attract big crowds and should adhere to all public health guidelines.
In April, the City of Toronto launched CurbTO to identify sidewalk hot spots and pinch points to help reduce sidewalk crowding in front of essential businesses and support increased demand for pickup and delivery services. This program will be expanded to support additional retail locations throughout Toronto.
Learn more about CurbTO at http://www.toronto.ca/covid19BusinessTO.
Employers can reference guidelines provided by Workplace Safety & Prevention Services at https://www.wsps.ca/WSPS/media/Site/Resources/Downloads/covid-19-delivery-service-health-and-safety-guidance.pdf?ext=.pdf.
The City of Toronto remains focused on fighting COVID-19 and continuing to provide the essential and critical City services that residents and businesses rely on. At this same time, the City is looking ahead to the restart and recovery period. Like other municipalities, the City of Toronto is working to protect livelihoods while also protecting lives in a post-COVID world.
“It is critical that the opening of more businesses and shops is done in a safe way that doesn’t allow for further spread of this deadly virus. Much of that – as always has been the case – will rely on individual residents continuing to do the right thing and keeping their distance from others. And it will absolutely rely on businesses continuing to do the right thing and following the provincial regulations and public health recommendations. I strongly encourage all businesses that are permitted to open to closely follow the advice and guidance of public health experts by ensuring physical distancing measures are in place, and to diligently plan for their re-opening in advance so that they keep their employees and customers safe and prevent any further spread of COVID-19."
- Mayor John Tory