02 May COVID-19 Update: Ontario marinas phased reopening
On Friday, May 1st Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the allowance of certain sectors to re-open as part of the first phase of the Framework for Reopening our Province, released earlier this week.
Premier Ford stated that “by following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m.” and announced seven sectors to resume business activity.
Marinas were included in the announcement, with restrictions, as follows:
“Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.”
This is very good news for Ontario’s boating and yachting industry. The decision is in line with the request of Boating Ontario members who sent over 100 letters asking for a two-phase re-opening approach: First, to allow marinas to prepare for the upcoming boating season and, subsequently, to resume full operations at a later stage.
More specifically, the proposal submitted by Boating Ontario members comprised of:
Phase 1 – Requested for May 1st: “With our facilities and retail showrooms in a ‘closed to the general public’ environment and our staff operating under Social Distancing protocols, we ask that you grant us permission to launch boats at marinas (disable vessels at docks), deliver sold boats in a ‘touchless’ process, service boats and provide home delivery or curbside touchless parts pick up. We would continue to provide all other services as outlined in the current essential list for primary residence boaters, enforcement, contractors, and services.
Phase 2 – Requested for May 15st: “We ask that when deemed appropriate by the province to be able to return to a more ‘Open for business’ full operations status, under new Social Distancing protocols. We would offer to be your conduit to communicating Best Practices for Social Distancing at marinas and recreational boating workplaces.”
The full news release from the Office of the Premier can be found here. Boating Ontario strongly encourages its members and all boaters all to follow precisely the guidelines as outlined to ensure that we can soon move safely into a full boating season.
In the meantime, Boating Ontario will continue to advocate on behalf of its members and the recreational local boating industry as the situation develops.