As the provincial government moves forward with plans to reopen the economy amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the City of Toronto is encouraging restaurants and aesthetic services to be ready for reopening when given to go-ahead.

According to a City statement on Friday, approximately 8,000 restaurants and 3,500 personal service and aesthetics businesses (hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlours, nail salons etc.) were closed or heavily impacted by public health opening regulations since the Ontario government put in place emergency orders related to the pandemic.

Closed businesses weren’t given the approval to reopen as of Friday, but the municipality encouraged owners and operators to be ready for “safe reopening” when the province lifts restrictions put in place.

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“The City will also work with business owners to understand enforcement, accessibility and cleaning requirements, and how to maintain physical distancing to keep customers and employees safe,” officials said in the statement.

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“To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to staff and clients, physical distancing measures, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and other public health requirements must be followed when businesses reopen.”

During a news conference at Toronto city hall Friday afternoon, medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa encouraged businesses to keep the contact information of customers in the event public health staff need to quickly conduct contact tracing.

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She also said physical improvements might need to be put in place, such as plexiglass barriers, and increased disinfection might need to occur too.

The City of Toronto announced it has made enhancements to allow businesses to get licences on its website.

The issuing of new business licences and renewal of existing licences by the City of Toronto has been suspended since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to help business owners with their restart plans, the City has now developed new processes for businesses to apply and obtain licences online.

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