Returning to the workplace

Earlier this month the Ontario government announced the retailers and other businesses which would be permitted to open or expand their services as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020. All businesses must continue to follow public health guidelines.

As part of Phase 1, businesses allowed to reopen include retail services (that are not in shopping malls) and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as visits by appointment or by limiting the number of people in the store. Travel agencies and tour operators that meet the criteria are permitted to open.

In the coming days and weeks, the Ontario government will be making additional announcements on the phased approach to the province's reopening. We encourage you to check the TICO website often for updates that impact your business and the travel industry more broadly.

Registrants with questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business can call the government of Ontario’s Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Deciding to reopen your workplace - assessing the risks

To begin, you should determine whether you are able to legally reopen your workplace - which will be based on provincial government orders and restrictions. Once you make that determination, you will need to ensure you are able to reopen safely, both for you and your employees as well as customers. Remember, it is your lawful duty to provide a safe workplace.

Some things to consider include the following:

  • seek input from your employees to understand their comfort level in returning to the workplace
  • assess your workplace for COVID-19 hazards and determine whether you can provide a safe and healthy workplace
  • implement health and safety measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19, i.e. personal protective equipment, social distancing measures, limiting the number of employees in the workplace, sanitizing products, etc.
  • assess your workplace environment on an ongoing basis and be prepared to adjust accordingly as the situation evolves

For detailed information and resources relating to COVID-19, including guidance on returning to the workplace, please see the TICO Talk article COVID-19 - resources for registrants

As a reminder, all registrants must advise TICO whether you are closed temporarily or still operating remotely by emailing Click here for more information on operating remotely as an OSR.

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