A snapshot of how the provinces plan to exit the COVID-19 closure


Provinces have started to publish plans to ease restrictions that have been put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Here’s what some provinces have announced so far:

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador plans to relax some public health restrictions in a series of five “alert levels”. The transition to level four on May 11 will allow you to resume certain medical procedures as well as low-risk activities, such as golf, hunting and fishing. Low-risk businesses, including garden centers and professional services, such as law firms, will be able to reopen on level four. Alert level four must remain in place for at least 28 days. At level three, private health clinics, such as optometrists and dentists, will be allowed to open, as well as medium-risk businesses, such as clothing stores and hair salons. At level two, certain small gatherings will be allowed, and businesses such as performance spaces and gymnasiums will be allowed to open. Level one will represent “the new normal”.

Prince Edward Island

The Renew P.E.I. The Ensemble plan provides for the restart of priority non-emergency health care services on May 1, including certain elective surgeries and certain health service providers, including physiotherapists, optometrists and chiropractors. Outdoor gatherings and non-contact outdoor recreational activities of no more than five people from different households will also begin on May 1. Screening should continue at ports of entry and at all persons entering Prince Edward Island. will have to isolate for 14 days.

New Brunswick

Prime Minister Blaine Higgs implemented the first phase of his four-phase reopening plan on April 24. It allows limited play on golf courses as well as fishing and hunting. Two families are allowed to interact in a so-called “two-family bubble.” Post-secondary students can return if they are deemed safe by the school, and outdoor church services can take place, if people stay in their vehicles and are within two meters of each other. The second phase, which could begin in two to four weeks, would see the resumption of elective surgeries and the reopening of daycares, offices, restaurants, ATV trails and seasonal campgrounds. The third phase would allow regular religious services, dentistry work and the reopening of fitness centers. The final phase, which would likely only come after a vaccine is available, would include large gatherings.


Prime Minister François Legault has set May 11 as the day for schools and daycares outside of Greater Montreal. The city is set to follow suit on May 19. Legault says that attendance will not be mandatory. High schools, colleges and universities will remain closed until September. Quebec aims to open retail stores outside of Montreal by May 4, while those in the greater Montreal area will reopen on May 11. The construction industry is scheduled to start fully on May 11, while manufacturing companies will resume operations on the same day with limits on the total number of employees who can work per shift.


Premier Doug Ford released a three-step plan on April 27, but did not include a timetable. Stage 1 could include the opening of certain workplaces which could modify operations, such as collection or delivery at the curb, the opening of parks, the possibility of receiving more people during certain events such as than the funeral and the resumption of non-emergency operations by the hospitals. Stage 2 could include opening more businesses, opening more outdoor space, and allowing larger public gatherings. Stage 3 would include opening all workplaces and relaxing the rules on public gatherings – although big ones like sporting events and concerts are still limited.


The Saskatchewan government released a five-step plan on April 23 to reopen part of its economy. The lifting of certain measures could begin on May 4, dentists, optometrists and other health professionals being authorized to resume services. Phase 1 also includes golf courses and reopened campgrounds. Phase 2 would give the green light to retail businesses and trade shows. Restaurants and gymnasiums could open in phase 3 but with limited capacity. Phase 4 saw the opening of arenas, swimming pools and playgrounds. In Phase 5, the province would consider lifting restrictions on the size of public gatherings.


May 4 is the day Manitoba plans to authorize the reopening of health units, including dentists, chiropractors and physiotherapists. Retail stores will reopen half occupied as long as they can provide physical spacing. Restaurants to reopen patios and walk-in service. Museums and libraries will open, but occupancy will be limited to 50%. Playgrounds, golf courses and tennis courts may reopen, as well as parks and campgrounds. A second phase of the plan must begin no earlier than June 1. It was then that restaurants should be allowed to open indoor dining rooms and that contactless children’s sports would resume. Mass gatherings such as concerts and major sporting events will not be counted until September.


Alberta plans to allow certain scheduled, non-emergency surgeries to begin on May 4. Dentists, physiotherapists and other health professionals will be able to open. On May 2, golf courses may reopen as long as their stores and professional clubs remain closed. On May 14, retail businesses, such as clothing, furniture and bookstores, will be allowed to reopen gradually. Cafes and restaurants without bar service will also be allowed to reopen at half capacity. The second phase of the Alberta plan includes potential classes from Kindergarten to Grade 12, with restrictions, and movie theaters and cinemas, again, with restrictions. The third phase includes discos, gymnasiums, swimming pools, recreation centers and arenas, all with restrictions. There is no timetable for the last two phases.

British Columbia:

The province has not released its reopening plan, but Premier John Horgan promises details next week.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 30, 2020.

© Copyright Tri-City News


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here