LONDON, ONT —
The City of London is laying the groundwork for opening community gardens after they were deemed essential, but officials say for the time being people should stay out of those gardens.
The province announced over the weekend that community gardens will now be considered an essential service.
The statement released by the office of the premier Saturday says local medical officers of health will provide advice, recommendations and instructions that the gardens must follow to operate.
The city is working with the Middlesex London Health Unit to establish safety measures that will need to be followed in the gardens.
The city says the gardens cannot open until all measures to slow the spread of covid-19 have been identified.
They will include items such as physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting commonly used equipment and surfaces.
That means gardens won’t be open on the traditional May 1, start date and when they do open only registered gardeners will be allowed on the site.
Gardeners lobbied the province for essential service status saying they provide fresh produce to vulnerable residents who need it most.
No open date has been established for the city’s 17 community gardens.
There are more than 450 community garden plots in London and about 1,000 users.
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With files from CTV London’s Brent Lale and Gerry Dewan.