Written by Carl Cunningham and Sara Parchello
Ontario is ordering the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces to further contain the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This closure will be effective as of Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m. Premier Doug Ford made the announcement this afternoon and the closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of extending the order. A similar announcement was made by Québec Premier François Legault in respect of businesses based in Québec.
A full list of businesses that are permitted to stay open will be released tomorrow. The Ontario Premier said some essential services will include grocery stores, pharmacies, power, telecommunications and operations to maintain supply chains that provide necessities to Ontarians. It is not presently clear if construction sites will be required to close.
The Premier said he will provide details on Wednesday, March 25 on whether businesses that must close will receive compensation from the Ontario government. He also said that enforcement actions are being examined for violations of the mandatory closure.
We will continue to provide updates on this and what it means for businesses that are permitted to stay open—and those that are not. Members of our Employment Services Group are available anytime to answer your questions on Ontario’s mandatory closure or any other COVID-19 employment matter.
In addition, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre for other COVID-19-related materials.