The provinces have released 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 certain public health restrictions in a series of “alert levels” down from five. The transition to level 4 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 need to reopen at this level.
Alert level 4 must remain in place for at least 28 days. At level 3, private health clinics, such as optometrists and dentists, should be allowed to open, as well as medium-risk businesses such as clothing stores and hair salons. At level 2, certain small gatherings will be authorized and companies with performance spaces and gymnasiums must reopen. Level 1 would represent “the new normal”.
Nova Scotia has relaxed some public health restrictions, but guidelines for physical distance and social gatherings remain in place. Provincial and municipal trails and parks can now reopen, but playground equipment will continue to be prohibited. Garden centers, nurseries and the like can open, and although the golf driving range may open, the courses will remain closed. Sport fishing is allowed and people can go to boating, yacht or sailing clubs in order to prepare boats for use. Religious services by car will be allowed, as long as people stay in their cars, they are parked two meters apart and there is no interaction between people.
Prince Edward Island
Priority non-emergency surgeries and some health service providers, including physiotherapists, optometrists and chiropractors, resumed May 1 under The Renew P.E.I. Plan together. The plan also allows for outdoor gatherings and contactless outdoor recreational activities for up to five people from different households. However, screening must continue at points of entry into the province and to all those entering Prince Edward Island. are required to isolate for 14 days.
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 consists of seeing the resumption of elective surgeries and the reopening of daycare centers, offices, restaurants, ATV trails and seasonal campgrounds. The third phase will allow regular religious services, dentistry work and the reopening of fitness centers. The final phase, which will likely only come after a vaccine is available, will include large gatherings.
Quebec reopened its retail stores outside Montreal on Monday, while those in the greater Montreal region are expected to reopen on May 18. The province delayed the reopening of retail stores in the greater Montreal area by a week. Lottery terminals began reopening on Monday after being closed on March 20, with sales going only online. 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, but attendance will not be mandatory. Secondary schools, colleges and universities are to remain closed until September. The construction industry in Quebec is scheduled to start fully on May 11, while manufacturing companies are scheduled to resume operations on the same day with initial limits on the total number of employees who can work per shift.
The province has allowed a small list of businesses, mostly seasonal, to reopen on Monday. They include garden centers with curbside pickup, lawn and landscaping businesses, and automatic car washes. All will have to follow physical distance measurements. Last month Ford released a three-step plan to slowly reopen Ontario’s economy, but it didn’t have a timetable. He said step 1 could include opening some workplaces and parks, allowing more people at certain events such as funerals and hospitals to resume certain elective surgeries. Stage 2 could include opening more businesses and outdoor spaces, while Stage 3 would include opening all workplaces and other softening rules on public gatherings – although the great as sporting events and concerts are always limited.
The Saskatchewan government’s five-stage plan to reopen part of its economy began on Monday, with dentists, optometrists and other health professionals authorized to resume service. Phase 1 also includes golf courses and reopened campgrounds. Phase 2 will 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.
Manitoba has authorized the reopening of Monday’s health units, including dentists, chiropractors and physiotherapists. Retail businesses should reopen half-occupied as long as they can provide physical spacing. Restaurants can reopen patios and walk-in service. Museums and libraries opened Monday, but occupancy should be limited to 50%. Playgrounds, golf courses and tennis courts are also to reopen, as well as parks and campgrounds. A second phase must begin no earlier than June 1. It is then that restaurants will be allowed to open indoor dining rooms and that contactless children’s sports will resume. Mass gatherings such as concerts and major sporting events will not be counted until September.
Alberta plans have allowed some scheduled, non-emergency surgeries to start on Monday. Services provided by dentists, physiotherapists and other health professionals must also be authorized. The golf courses reopened on May 2, although 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 operate at half. The second phase also includes potential classes from Kindergarten to Grade 12 – with restrictions – and the reopening of cinemas and cinemas, again, with restrictions. The third phase would see the reopening of nightclubs, gymnasiums, swimming pools, recreation centers and arenas, all with restrictions. There is no timetable for the last two phases.
British Columbia has not released its reopening plan, but Premier John Horgan promises details this week.