Last week, we posted about the list of essential workplaces that have been ordered to be closed by Premier Ford.

Following the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario government has further reduced the list of essential workplaces that can continue to operate during this time, effective April 4, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. This order will be in place for at least 14 days and may be extended beyond the 14 day period.

Two of the major changes to this new order include the following:

  • For the construction sector, only certain construction projects can continue, including ones that are associated with the healthcare sector, certain critical industrial construction activities, residential construction projects that have reached a certain stage, and activities necessary to close construction sites.
  • The following businesses can only sell through an alternative method of sale, such as curbside pick-up or delivery (except in exceptional circumstances):
    • Hardware products
    • Vehicle parts and supplies
    • Pet and animal supplies
    • Office supplies and computer products, including computer repair
    • Safety supplies

Businesses that are not on the list of essential workplaces can continue to operate either online, by telephone, or by mail/delivery.

The updated and reduced list of essential workplaces can be found on the Ontario government’s website.

Employers should continue to monitor the list of essential workplaces in case further changes are implemented by the Ontario government.


No matter how big or small the matter, we are always accessible to all of our clients, placing their financial realities and long-term interests first and foremost. Lorrie Por, Mana Khami, and David Spence from our Employment and Labour Department are available to assist with any questions you may have about workplace matters relating to COVID-19.

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