As the COVID19 pandemic rages on, many people are confused about what is actually deemed an essential service.

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities and services are deemed an essential service, along with first responders, and vulnerable service providers, along with others.

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said he’s received calls from a number of businesses, who are in a grey area about whether to open or shut down.

“I’ve had questions from golf courses, I’ve had questions from pet groomers, and all kinds of different businesses that are in that grey area. The answer from me is always ‘use your best judgment and make sure that if you do decide to open, you do it in compliance with the physical distancing guidelines.’ ”

According to the Retail Council of Canada, non-essential businesses that haven’t been ordered to close can remain open, assuming they have the ability to meet public health orders.

Siebring said some businesses have been ordered to close and must remain closed.

“There is a list of businesses that aren’t allowed to open right now; close personal contact barbershops, saunas, spas, tattoo parlours. There is another list of businesses that are deemed essential, grocery stores, gas stations, and a whole bunch of other things,” said Siebring.