Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Ontario government publishes list of essential workplaces allowed to operate

March 23, 2020
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Photo: © smederevac/Getty ImagesPhoto: © smederevac/Getty Images

Earlier today, the Ontario government announced that non-essential businesses would be forced to temporarily close for at least two weeks in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But what’s an essential business versus a non-essential business? The Ontario government has now published a comprehensive list of what it considers essential workplaces that will be permitted to stay open.

For those businesses that must shut their physical doors, the government encourages work-from-home models where possible.

Businesses that will remain open are asked to put in protocols for physical distancing and regular hand-washing in order to protect the health and safety of employees and the general public.


Among the businesses in the manufacturing industry permitted to stay open:

  • Businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (e.g. primary metal/steel, blow molding, component manufacturers, chemicals, etc. that feed the end-product manufacturer);
  • Businesses, facilities and services that support and facilitate the two-way movement of essential goods within integrated North American and global supply chains;
  • Manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, including medications, medical isotopes, vaccines and antivirals; medical devices and medical supplies;
  • Manufacturers, logistics and distributors of products and/or services that support the delivery of health care in all locations (including but not limited to hospitals, labs, long-term care homes, other residential health care, physicians, nurse practitioners and midwives, and home care services);
  • Businesses that supply other essential businesses or essential services with the support, supplies, systems or services, including processing, packaging, distribution, delivery and maintenance necessary to operate.

Read the government of Ontario’s full list of essential workplaces.

At-risk workplaces will be ordered to close by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 and where possible, take the necessary measures so staff can work from home allowing operations to continue.

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