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Re-opening Animal Services During COVID-19 Recovery Plan

As provincial and federal guidance on workplace settings and public health guidelines continue to evolve during the pandemic, so do the rules for animal services—including veterinary pet care, pet grooming and pet training. Although restrictions may be relaxing, it is still not business as usual. People and businesses must continue to follow the appropriate physical distancing and safety measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission.

Veterinary Services
As you may be aware, restrictions are reduced for many veterinary establishments, which may take the form of regularly scheduled veterinary appointments for vaccinations and wellness appointments and elective procedures. Clinics may also maintain curbside and pick-up service as required. We consulted with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) in anticipation of reduced COVID-19 restrictions and expanded veterinary services and confirmed that the recovery schedule will go province by province in accordance with how vets are regulated. We encourage owners to check with their provincial regulators or VMAs for specific re-opening guidelines.  
We also encourage you to watch CVMA’s Townhall Series: Navigating Through Covid-19: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 for more information about veterinary protocols during the pandemic.

Grooming, Boarding and Pet Training Services
Select provinces have allowed the re-opening of grooming, boarding and pet training services, while observing strict safety precautions. Please refer to your provincial or national grooming and pet training associations for further details.

Outdoor, Recreational, and Seasonal Activities
Across the country, provinces such as Quebec, Ontario and BC are beginning to re-open public, outdoor spaces for various recreation and sports under enhanced safety protocols (and with the limitations surrounding public gathering). We will continue to monitor this area as it relates to club events and share information as it becomes available.

As of mid-May, Ontario is allowing sport activity for individual competitors, including animal-related sports (training and competitions conducted by a recognized Provincial Sport Organization, National Sport Organization, or recognized national provincial training centres). Workplaces are expected to review and enact specific safety guidelines to ensure measures are in place to protect staff, participants, and the public.

The BC government will begin to re-open recreational activities and sports (live audience sports are planned for a later date), along with parks (for day-use only), beaches and outdoor spaces, under enhanced protocols.

In Quebec, recreational sports, leisure and outdoor activities carried out individually or in pairs, without physical contact, will be permitted outside as of May 20.

Please review the following links for recovery guidelines in your province:

British Columbia
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals Operations Update
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) has resumed normal business operations as of May 4 when the Missouri State and City of Columbia lifted closure orders for non-essential business. 

Border Services
Despite the gradual relaxing of restrictions across the country, the closure of the Canada-U.S. border for non-essential travel has been extended until June 21 to limit the spread of COVID-19.

We will provide further updates as the situation continues to evolve.
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