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Window Barriers & Physical Distancing Could Become The Norm For Ontario Businesses

Doug Ford warns Ontarians to be prepared to "adapt to a new reality."
COVID-19 In Ontario Could Change The Way Businesses Run Even After The Pandemic

It might be time to get used to plexiglass, face masks, and physically-distanced lineups. During the daily press briefing on COVID-19 in Ontario on April 30, Premier Doug Ford shared some more insight on how the province intends to reopen its economy. The government announced 60 labour guidelines that businesses will need to follow once they get the green light to reopen, and some of them could change the way stores look way beyond the pandemic.

According to a statement by the provincial government, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and the Health and Safety Associations have shared new advice that aims to help employers and their workers to stay safe in a post-COVID-19 world.

"Today, we're on the path to reopening the economy because that curve is flattening," said Ford during the live briefing on Wednesday.

"We are giving businesses and workplaces the best guidance available on how to open up safely. Today we're telling our businesses how to be ready for when we get that green light."

The new guidelines focus on everything from grocery stores to building sites and plenty in between. Ford stressed they will help Ontarians "adapt to a new reality."

Among them is an outline of what life could be like for store cashiers.

The plan suggests cashless payments, some form of "sneeze guard" or window, maintaining social distancing, and increasing cleaning, according to the guidance on Health and Safety for Cashiers during COVID-19.

The Toronto Star suggests that numerous provincial businesses will actually be forced to install these kinds of protections, including plexiglass barriers. 

However, the guidelines add that it's only if those measures appear to not be enough that the continued wearing of PPE like face masks and/or goggles and gloves will be recommended.

The Star adds that some will even be asked to revamp their HVAC systems, as well as providing hand sanitizer and applying distancing measures.

Other recommendations include limiting the number of customers in retail stores and shops going cashless.

Ontario has also added 58 new inspectors to help clamp down and enforce these guidelines, as well as existing emergency measures, per the statement.

The full list of guidelines, broken down by sector, can be found on the Government of Ontario website.

This update comes just days after Ford announced a three-step framework as to how Ontario will start to reopen once things start easing down.

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