List of Essential Workplaces (1-888-444-3659)

Published on March 24, 2020

Earlier yesterday, Premier Doug Ford was joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance and Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General to announce that the government will be closing at-risk workplaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The government released a list of essential businesses. Please view below. Essential businesses include, but are not limited to grocery stores and pharmacies, telecommunications and IT infrastructure service providers, and businesses that support power generation, natural gas distribution and clean drinking water. Essential businesses are being asked to put into place for all measures to safeguard the wellbeing of their employees on the front-lines.

The decision to close non-essential businesses was a tough but necessary decision. The businesses reflected on the essential services list are necessary to ensure the health and wellbeing of all Ontarians, while supporting Ontario’s strong economy in a way that is safe and appropriate for today’s reality.

We are calling on all businesses to join us in our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. If you are a business that can work from home, we encourage you to continue your operations. Any business that can work remotely over the phone, online or via post should continue to operate.

For businesses who are essential to ensuring the health and well-being of all Ontarians we need to work with you to ensure your employees are working in a safe environment. These businesses should be working quickly to develop a plan that will ensure physical distancing and regular handwashing hygiene.

Any employee who does not feel safe at their place of work should leave. As the situation evolves our government is prepared to take further action. The Premier has been clear that every option is on the table.

Determining the List

• The businesses listed as non-essential are necessary to ensuring the health and safety of all Ontarians. We need to maintain critical infrastructure to ensure Ontarians have access to the essential supports and services they rely on.

Call 1-888-444-3659

  • The province has launched a toll-free line to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
  • On Monday, our government issued an emergency order to close at-risk workplaces and encourage non-essential businesses to find ways to help their employees work from home. The government also reminded businesses to put in place protocols for physical distancing and regular hand-washing in order to protect the health and safety of employees and the general public.
  • Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
  • Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m

The situation is evolving

• The situation is evolving day by day, hour by hour.
• We are acting on the best advice from the Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams at this time.
• We believe by shutting down non-essential businesses we will continue to encourage the public to stay home and practice physical distancing and regular handwashing.

News Release:

Stop the Spread Business Information Line Now Open at 1-888-444-3659

Mise en service de la ligne d'information Freiner la propagation à l'intention des entreprises au 1 888 444-3659


List of essential workplaces in response to COVID-19:

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