What You Need To Know: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Updated June 30th, 3:30 PM

Dear members,

Hospitality NL’s core priority is on supporting the industry through these extremely challenging times and we will continue to do everything we can to mitigate the impact that COVID-19 will have on our sector. As a result of the global impact, the volume of information, opinions and ideas has been overwhelming for many of us and in a time when social media can be the main source of advice, we wanted to curate a page where tourism businesses could receive current, factual and accurate information that helps inform businesses.

First and foremost, Community Health and Safety is our primary priority, particularly for employees and customers. Please follow the latest public health advisories listed here. We are taking guidance from official public health agencies at the local, provincial and federal level along with global organizations.

Along with actively monitoring and providing the latest information on COVID-19, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador has formed and is leading a working group surrounding the issue. This allows us to constantly engage with our provincial partners to better understand the impacts that it’s having in our province. Hospitality NL is closely monitoring the outbreak with our partners; Tourism Industry Association of Canada, The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Restaurants Canada, Hotel Association of Canada (among others) who are constantly monitoring the situation from official sources as well.

We understand these are stressful and rapidly changing times, but we want you to know that we are here to support you, your business and your concerns.

We are still 100% committed to supporting our members and the tourism industry. Hospitality NL offers a number of ways for members to engage with and contact us, even while we are physically away from our office in an effort to flatten the curve. Please visit our website for the staff directory (which contains our emails/phone numbers). Alternatively, you can reach out to us via social media on Twitter and Facebook. *If you are unable to reach us for any reason, please leave a detailed voicemail at the extension you are trying to reach and we will return your call as soon as possible*

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Tourism Industry Impact News

As of June 24th, 2020 at 2:00pm NDT:

There are 261 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

3 deaths have been confirmed in Newfoundland and Labrador.

There is 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.

According to the Government of NL’s Alert Level System:

Tourism and Hospitality Support Program Application

Tourism and Hospitality Support Program Application

On May 25, 2020, the Provincial Government, through the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, announced a new $25 million support program to assist eligible tourism and hospitality based operators impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible tourism operators[...]

Tourism and Hospitality Support Program Application

On May 25, 2020, the Provincial Government, through the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, announced a new $25 million support program to assist eligible tourism and hospitality based operators impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible tourism operators will be able to apply for a one-time, non-repayable contribution of either $5,000 or $10,000, dependent on gross sales.

The Tourism and Hospitality Support Program complements other Provincial Government supports announced to date as well as existing emergency supports from the Government of Canada.

Eligibility Guidelines

Please click here to view eligibility guidelines for the program.

To Apply:

Click HereOpens in new window

Required Information

If you are planning to apply for the new Tourism and Hospitality Support Program after the process opens on June 8th, 2020, you will be required to provide information such as:

    • 2019 business and financial information pertaining to gross sales, net profit and number of employees;
    • 2020 financial information pertaining to estimated losses to date and forecasted losses to December 31, 2020;
    • details of any other COVID-19 support funding applied for or received;
    • details regarding a reasonable plan to continue operations in 2020 and/or 2021; and
    • CRA Business Number if applicable.

You will be required to upload specific documents to the online application system, as outlined below:

For Existing Businesses

    • VOID Cheque
    • Government-issued Identification – a picture of a government-issued identification for the person completing the application must be provided.
    • Financial Statements – prepared financial statements reflective of the 2019 operating season. Where prepared financial statements are not yet available, in-house generated profit/loss or income/expense statements for the same time period will be accepted.

For Start-Up Businesses

    • VOID Cheque
    • Government-issued Identification – a picture of a government-issued identification for the person completing the application must be provided.
    • List of Costs Incurred to Prepare for 2020 Season – please include vendors, brief description of activity/cost, invoice numbers, individual costs and the overall total cost.

Please Note: Documents uploaded to the system must be one of the following formats: .PDF, .PNG, .JPG, or .JPEG. Maximum file size is 20MB

If you have questions, please send an email to:  THSP@gov.nl.ca

Training and Webinars

For a full list of webinars please visit the:
HNL EVENTS CALENDAR

 

___________________Previously Recorded____________________

For a full list of webinars please visit the:
HNL EVENTS CALENDAR

 

___________________Previously Recorded____________________

Join the Conversation

HNL continues with a series of Virtual Gatherings of Tourism Business Leaders and Stakeholders – to share information, explore ideas, discuss what additional supports that may be required and to generate bold and creative ideas about how tourism will look in a POST COVID-19 world:

    • Sign up to join the conversation here

Supports for Businesses

Government of Canada: Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
Avoiding layoffs and rehiring employees
Access to credit
  • Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program
  • Canada Emergency Business Account
    • The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.This program will roll out in mid-April, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.
Date modified:
canada.ca
  • MP Sean Fraser has created a COVID-19 Benefits Calculator – it can help you determine the right COVID-19 Government of Canada support for you – SeanFraserMP.ca

Government Guidelines for Sectors:

  1. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services
    April 13, 2020

COVID-19 Guidance for Hotels and Bed and Breakfast Accommodations:

It is important for the hotel industry to provide a safe environment for their guests while adhering to the[...]

  1. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services
    April 13, 2020

COVID-19 Guidance for Hotels and Bed and Breakfast Accommodations:

It is important for the hotel industry to provide a safe environment for their guests while adhering to the recommendations for lowering the risk of transmission of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a new virus. It spreads by respiratory droplets of an infected person to others with whom they have close contact. It can survive on different surfaces but can be killed by most cleaners and disinfectants. Here are some helpful tips for keeping you, your staff, and your guests safe.Stay Up-to-Date

    • Monitor www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/ for the most recent and accurate information about COVID-19 including the workplace.
    • Visit www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/ for information about the COVID-19 on-line Self-Assessment tool.
    • Know the Symptoms of COVID-19 Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new disease. Symptoms are defined as two or more of the following (new or worsening):
      • fever (or signs of a fever*);
      • cough;
      • headache;
      • sore throat;
      • runny nose.*signs of a fever include chills, sweats, muscle aches, lightheadedness

If you have these symptoms, stay at home, complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/ and follow directions based on the outcome of your self-assessment.

How is COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads through close contact with an infected person, mostly face-to-face or within a household through:

  • Respiratory droplets made when you cough or sneeze; 
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands; and

While it is unknown at this time, the extent to which pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission is taking place, we do know that it is occurring among people in close contact or in close physical settings. The vast majority of transmission of COVID-19 occurs when individuals have symptoms.

How else can I prevent the spread of COVID-19?

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home, complete the COVID-19 SelfAssessment tool (www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/) and follow directions based on the outcome of your self-assessment.
    Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Keep a distance of 2 meters (6 feet) between yourself and others (physical distancing).What if a guest has COVID-19?
  • If a staff person is made aware of a guest who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19, contact the manager immediately, have the guest stay in their room to self-isolate.
    • Have the guest call 811 and follow their directions.
    • Clean and disinfect all high touch areas.

Specific guidance on cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19 can be found at www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/. If the guest must be in a public space, ensure the guest continues to follow handwashing guidelines, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing. 

What if a guest wants to self-isolate at our hotel or B&B?

  • If a guest needs to self-isolate, it is important staff take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Staff should avoid close contact with the guest and practice physical (social) distancing by keeping a distance of 2 meters, (6 feet) between themselves and the guest.
  • Discuss with the guest the expectations related to self-isolation and limiting interactions with other individuals, which include:
    • They must stay confined in their room and not visit any public spaces.
    • If they must be in a public space, ensure the guest continues to follow handwashing, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing.
    • Ask the guest to avoid any outside visitors unless there are extenuating circumstances such as a medical emergency.
    • Provide guest with standard complimentary amenities and non-perishable type of food items to limit the need to make numerous daily deliveries.
    • Advise the guest when they check-in, if they begin to show symptoms, to complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/ and follow directions based on the outcome of their self-assessment.

Provide the guest with the mobile phone number of the hotel or B&B manager to contact should they have questions or need assistance.

Is it safe to clean a guest’s room who is self-isolating?

  • Consider not providing cleaning or housekeeping services during the guest’s stay.
  • Provide basic cleaning supplies for the guest to use.
  • When the guest leaves follow your industry standards for cleaning and disinfecting.

Specific guidance on cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19 can be found at www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/.

How can hotels and B&Bs decrease the risk of infection in lobbies and other common areas?

  • Close dining areas, per March 23, 2020 Special Measures Order, and only provide room service or take-out service options.
  • If room service is provided, use disposable plastic/paper cutlery and containers.
  • For room service and take-out deliveries, leave all food and beverages at the guest’s door for pick-up by the guest.
  • All gym and fitness facilities must close per the March 23 Special Measures Order.
  • This includes hotel pools, gyms and saunas.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as sinks, toilets, door handles, light switches, phones, vending machines, electronics and television remotes.
  • Wash hands immediately after handling guest room hard keys and key cards.
  • After each guest leaves, disinfect keys.
  • Increase the spatial separation between desks, workstations as well as individuals (e.g., employees, guests) from each other, by a 2 metre separation or use a physical barrier (e.g., cubicle, Plexiglas window.)
  • Move furniture used by guests in lobby and common areas so there is a 2 metre separation.
  • Keep soap dispensers filled in restrooms.

Offer alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol in areas where soap and water is not available.

What if a guest who is self-isolating becomes ill?

  • Advise guests upon check in, if they become ill to complete the COVID-19 SelfAssessment tool (www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/) and follow directions based on the outcome their self-assessment.
  • If symptoms require immediate medical attention, contact 911 and inform the operator that the guest is self-isolating for COVID-19.

View the pdf document here

2. NL Public Health Orders (Complete List)

Resources for Accommodations Sector

Hotel Association of Canada Resources:

Hotel Association of Canada Survey, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program:

Link to survey here

General Resources for Tourism Industry

As this issue is rapidly changing it’s important to keep informed with official, factual and up to date information.

As this issue is rapidly changing it’s important to keep informed with official, factual and up to date information.

To keep members informed, we advise all businesses to use the following links for complete and up to date information:

Individual articles businesses may find relevant right now:

What You Can Do (Physical and Mental Health)

Physical Health Resources:

  • Continue to practice good hand washing techniques and hygiene practices.
      • This includes washing thoroughly with soap and water, using hand sanitizer, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and staying at home if you are experiencing flu-like[...]

Physical Health Resources:

  • Continue to practice good hand washing techniques and hygiene practices.
      • This includes washing thoroughly with soap and water, using hand sanitizer, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and staying at home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
  • Symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and many of these symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza.
    • Should you experience these symptoms AND have recently travelled internationally to an affected region:
        • Avoid contact with others and follow-up with your health care professional.
        • Advise your health professional in advance of attending clinic of your symptoms and travel history
  • Resource on 811 Healthline COVID-19 Self-Assessment found here
  • Resource on Coronavirus (COVID-19): Prevention and Risks found here
  • Resource on Government of Canada Indigenous Support found here

Mental Health Resources:

Travel Notices

There are several active travel health notices for COVID-19. Each country or area may have different levels of risk. These risk levels may change as the COVID-19 event evolves internationally.

*Each of these destinations have travel health notices for COVID-19:

Have Your Voice Heard (Tourism Industry Surveys)

1. TIAC: BCAP, NEW Business Credit Availability Program Survey:

Link to survey here 
_______________________________________

2. TIAC/Destination Canada Tourism Impact Survey:

Link to survey here
_______________________________

3. Hotel Association of Canada Survey, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program:

Link to survey here

From our Partners: Your Participation is Needed

 

Local Action Needed to Save Tourism, Hotels and Restaurants in Your Riding

Your participation is needed:

1) Put your signature on our joint proposal by clicking here.
2) Send a letter to your Member of Parliament urging him/her to support this proposal. The letter is already pre-written for you, you just need to input your name and address. Click here to send a letter.

Premier Ball and Minister Davis Announce New Support Program for Tourism and Hospitality Industry

Executive Council
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

May 25, 2020

To assist eligible tourism and hospitality based operators impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provincial Government today announced a $25 million support program[...]

Executive Council
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

May 25, 2020

To assist eligible tourism and hospitality based operators impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provincial Government today announced a $25 million support program for the industry.

Under the Tourism and Hospitality Support Program, eligible small and medium-sized tourism operators will be able to apply for a one-time, non-repayable working capital contribution of either $5,000 or $10,000, dependent on gross sales.

This short-term program will help enable operators cover some of their business costs. This support will provide immediate financial relief to operators who are dealing with substantial losses and continued fixed operating costs, providing support as many in the industry prepare to re-open.

In the coming days, program details including eligibility criteria, will be posted on the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation website at www.gov.nl.ca/tcii/. Eligible operators will be able to apply starting Monday, June 8.

The Tourism and Hospitality Support Program complements other Provincial and Federal Government supports announced to date as well as existing emergency supports from the Government of Canada. Provincial funding for the program is being allocated from existing resources and through the COVID-19 contingency fund.

The tourism and hospitality industry generates over $1.14 billion in visitor spending each year, and is responsible for over 20,000 jobs, representing 2,700 businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Quotes
“The tourism and hospitality industry is among the most impacted sectors as a result of the unprecedented global health crisis. This new short-term program will provide operators with support they need to get back on their feet and better position them to re-open as restrictions begin to ease.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier, Newfoundland and Labrador

“Tourism is an economic driver in the province, and we recognize the significant contribution that this industry makes to the economy. The Tourism and Hospitality Support Program will help to fill a gap for operators that are being significantly impacted by reduced non-resident visitation which normally exceeds more than half a million visitors every year.”
Honourable Bernard Davis
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

-30-

Learn more

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

2017-20 Provincial Tourism Product Development Plan

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL and @TCII_GovNL

Media contacts
Jeremy Reynolds
Office of the Premier
709-729-3558
jeremyreynolds@gov.nl.ca

Eric Humber
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
709-725-9655
erichumber@gov.nl.ca

Press Release: Prime Minister announces expansion of support for workers and small businesses

Throughout the pandemic, the Government of Canada has focused on keeping Canadians safe and healthy and helping families pay their bills. That’s why we[...]

Throughout the pandemic, the Government of Canada has focused on keeping Canadians safe and healthy and helping families pay their bills. That’s why we have introduced strong measures to protect middle class jobs and support businesses, so they can keep Canadians on the payroll during this challenging time.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. This extended measure will help small businesses protect the jobs that Canadians rely on.

The changes to the CEBA will allow more Canadian small businesses to access interest free loans that will help cover operating costs during a period when revenues have been reduced, due to the pandemic.

The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.

To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada. Funding will be delivered in partnership with financial institutions. More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come. To date, over 600,000 small businesses have accessed the CEBA, and the government will work on potential solutions to help business owners and entrepreneurs who operate through their personal bank account, as opposed to a business account, or have yet to file a tax return, such as newly created businesses.

This measure is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which is putting Canadians and the protection of middle class jobs first. We will continue to help all Canadians, and together we will get through this crisis.

Quotes

“Canadians are counting on us to protect their jobs and help them pay their bills during this difficult time. By expanding the CEBA, we will be giving more businesses access to the support they need, so they can help protect workers and the jobs they rely on. Today we are helping to keep more businesses open and more Canadians working, so we are better prepared for the recovery to come.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Our government has been taking action since the start of this crisis to support the small businesses that define our Main Streets and provide jobs that Canadians rely on. We have been listening to you throughout this, and will continue to, to make sure we’re delivering the support Canadian businesses need to get through this tough time and be well positioned for success once the recovery begins.”

The Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

“Small businesses are at the heart of our communities, and they drive our national economy. By making our lending supports more generous and inclusive, we’re working hard to save Canadian jobs and businesses. We will continue to be there for Canadian businesses and workers every step of the way through this crisis.”

The Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Quick Facts

  • Launched on April 9, 2020, the CEBA provides zero-interest, partially forgivable loans up to $40,000 to small businesses that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19, but face ongoing non-deferrable costs such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, and employment costs. Twenty-five per cent of this loan is forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022.
  • The CEBA is administered by Export Development Canada, which is working closely with Canadian financial institutions to deliver the loans to their existing business banking customers.
  • When first launched, the CEBA was designed to allow for rapid deployment of credit to businesses with 2019 payroll between $50,000 and $1 million. The government then expanded the eligibility parameters of the program, by increasing the payroll eligibility range to between $20,000 and $1.5 million.
  • Since the CEBA’s launch, over 600,000 loans have been approved, representing a total of more than $24 billion in credit.

Associated Links

Press Release: Prime Minister announces additional support for small businesses

Small[...]

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and are vital for our families and communities across the country. They are facing economic hardship and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why the Government of Canada is working around the clock to give these businesses the support they need so they can continue to make our country strong at this critical time.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced new measures to support Canadian businesses so they can keep their doors open and their employees on the job.

The Government of Canada is:

  • Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million, and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs. Since the launch of the CEBA on April 9, 2020, more than 195,000 loans have been approved by financial institutions, extending more than $7.5 billion in credit to small businesses.
  • Announcing its intent to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. We are working with the provinces and territories to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic and we will have more details to share soon.

These measures are part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which has committed more than $107 billion in support to Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the pandemic. The government will continue to monitor and respond to the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19, and take additional actions as needed to protect the health and safety of Canadians and stabilize the economy.

Quotes

“We will always be there to support our Canadian businesses. That is why we are working closely with the business community to make sure that our emergency measures are as effective and inclusive as possible. Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account and making sure businesses can afford their rent is the smart thing to do. Small businesses are the backbone of our communities, and will keep our economy strong in this uncertain time.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“We are committed to helping Canadians through this difficult period. By making the Canada Emergency Business Account more accessible and introducing new measures to support businesses, we are positioning them to be ready for the recovery that will come. We will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure that Canadians are supported through the outbreak, and that our economy remains resilient during these challenging times.”

The Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
Associated Links

COPY OF PRESS RELEASE – View original here

Press Release: Prime Minister announces expanded access to Canada Emergency Response Benefit and support for essential workers

April 15, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario

The Government of Canada is taking significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

No Canadian should have to choose between protecting their health, putting food on the[...]

April 15, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario

The Government of Canada is taking significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

No Canadian should have to choose between protecting their health, putting food on the table, paying for their medication or caring for a family member. This is why the government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), a taxable benefit of $2,000 every four weeks for up to four months for eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the government is stepping up to better support those who need help but don’t qualify for the CERB, and Canadians working in essential jobs who make less than they would if they received the benefit.

To help more Canadians benefit from the CERB, the government will be changing the eligibility rules to:

Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their usual seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Extend the CERB to workers who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed particular demands on low-income workers in certain sectors, including those on the front-line in hospitals and nursing homes, those ensuring the integrity of the food supply, or providing essential retail services to Canadians.

In recognition that these essential workers’ salaries are often less or similar than what they would receive from the CERB, the government will work with provinces and territories through a new transfer to cost-share a temporary top-up to the salaries of workers deemed essential in the fight against COVID-19, who make less than $2,500 a month. Details as to the application and delivery of this measure will be released shortly following further work with provinces and territories. This measure could help several million workers currently involved in the COVID-19 response. The government will continue to look for ways to better help all Canadians during this difficult time.

Quotes
“We will do whatever it takes to protect the health and safety of Canadians, while making sure that our workers and businesses are supported. This is an extremely difficult time for all Canadians, and we need to make sure that essential workers have the support they need so they can continue to do the critical work we all rely on. Together, we will get through this difficult time.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on workers in all sectors, including those on the front-line saving lives in hospitals and nursing homes. The measures we are introducing today will ensure that they are properly compensated for their efforts, and ensure that workers who have lost income as a result of the pandemic get the help they need through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.”

The Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
“We remain unequivocal in our commitment to support Canadian workers impacted and unable to work due to COVID-19. Through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit we are ensuring that Canadians have access to the emergency income they need during this difficult time. Today’s announcement recognizes that many Canadian workers who did not qualify for the CERB were still in need of financial assistance – which is why we have worked hard to expand the eligibility criteria to be more inclusive.”

The Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
Quick Facts
The government is working to get money into the pockets of Canadians as quickly as possible. Canadians begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application. Canadians will have to apply every four weeks, attesting that they continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the CERB payment, which will be available to individuals for a maximum of 16 weeks, until October 3, 2020.
The more accessible CERB and the top-up for low-income essential workers are part of the government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which committed $107 billion in support to Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of COVID-19.

Related Product:
Backgrounder: Expanding access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and proposing a new wage boost for essential workers

COPY OF PRESS RELEASE – View original release here

Press Release: Government Announces Details of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to Help Businesses Keep Canadians in their jobs

News release

April 1, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak.

To help[...]

News release

April 1, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak.

To help Canadians and businesses get through these tough economic times, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that the Government is proposing to introduce a wage subsidy of 75 per cent for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

This measure, which is a part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, would support businesses that are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and would help protect the jobs Canadians depend on during these difficult times.

Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng, and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Navdeep Bains, announced the details of the proposed Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy:

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
  • Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy.
  • Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.
  • For non-profit organizations and registered charities similarly affected by a loss of revenue, the government will continue to work with the sector to ensure the definition of revenue is appropriate to their circumstances. The government is also considering additional support for non-profits and charities, particularly those involved in the front line response to COVID-19. Further details will be announced in the near term.
  • An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers would be expected to at least make best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is a key measure to ensure that workers are able to count on a source of income through this difficult time. It will enable employers to re-hire workers previously laid off, and to keep those who are already on payroll, so that Canada’s workforce and supply chains are able to return from this crisis in a strong position.

Eligible employers would be able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal. More details regarding how to apply for the program will follow. Those organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may continue to qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

The government will continue to carefully monitor all developments relating to the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue to take further action to protect Canadians and the economy.

Quotes

“Businesses provide the jobs, the goods and the services that Canadians depend on to keep their communities going, in good times and bad. With the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, we are helping businesses keep their staff on payroll so that businesses will be better positioned to rebound when the current challenges have passed. We will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure that workers and businesses are supported through the outbreak, and that our economy remains resilient during these difficult times.”

Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

“Small businesses are at the heart of our communities and are the backbone of our economy, employing millions of hard-working Canadians. There is no question that they are feeling the brunt of this challenging time. This wage subsidy will help keep more Canadians employed and will provide direct support to businesses so they can keep up with their bills. We will continue to listen to the very real needs of Canadian business owners and workers, and we will be there to support them every step of the way.”

Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

“We have been in constant communication with Canadian businesses, and we know that all sectors of the economy are being affected by COVID-19. With the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, employers—no matter their size—will be supported to weather this storm, to be ready to recover when it passes, and to help Canadians keep their jobs.”

Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts
  • The government has taken action to support Canadian businesses through the outbreak of COVID-19, with targeted new initiatives that:
    • Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
    • Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses, including not-for-profits. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero-per-cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.
    • Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.
    • Extend the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program, from 38 weeks to 76 weeks, for workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.
    • Increase credit available for farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.
    • Defer the payment of income taxes. The government is allowing all taxpayers to defer, until August 31, 2020, the payment of income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to new balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

*COPY OF PRESS RELEASE*
View full announcement here

Press Release: Prime Minister announces support for small businesses facing impacts of COVID‑19

The Government of Canada is focused on helping Canadians and businesses through this tough economic time. We will continue to protect the health and[...]

The Government of Canada is focused on helping Canadians and businesses through this tough economic time. We will continue to protect the health and safety of Canadians, while supporting families and businesses and keeping our economy strong in the face of uncertainty.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced additional new measures to support small businesses dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic. These measures will help Canadian businesses protect the jobs that Canadians depend on, and pay their workers and bills during these difficult times.

Today’s announcement is a part of the government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which already commits $107 billion in support to Canadians so they can buy groceries, pay rent, and care for their loved ones, and also supports businesses through this difficult time.

To further support small businesses, the Government of Canada will:

  • Announce a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of the month.
  • Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
  • Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.
  • Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.

These new investments will help Canada’s financial institutions provide the credit and liquidity options that a range of Canadian businesses need immediately.

The Government of Canada understands that some sectors have been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to carefully monitor all developments, and take further action in the near term. We’re all in this together, and the Government of Canada will continue to work around the clock to ensure all Canadians and small businesses get the support they need to weather this crisis.

Quotes

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and an important source of good jobs across this country. They are facing economic hardship and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that is why we are taking action now to help them get the financial help they need to protect their workers and pay their bills.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“The measures that we are taking to protect Canadians and our economy from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic remind us that extraordinary times demand extraordinary actions. With the new measures we are announcing today to support businesses, we are showing once again that we will do what we must to ensure that workers and businesses are supported through the outbreak, and that our economy remains strong in the face of adversity.”

The Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
Quick Facts
  • The deferral to June of GST/HST payments, as well as customs duties owing on imports, will generally apply to remittances that become due in March, April, and May. These amounts would normally have been due to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of this month. This measure will take effect immediately, through existing authorities.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency is introducing a series of administrative measures to remove some of the burden on businesses experiencing financial hardship.
  • The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide funding to eligible financial institutions so that they can provide interest-free loans in the form of lines of credit of up to $40,000 to businesses with payrolls of less than $1 million. A quarter of this loan (up top $10,000) is eligible for complete forgiveness.
  • The new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program will operate as follows:
    • Export Development Canada will provide guarantees to financial institutions so that they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized businesses. These loans will be 80 per cent guaranteed by Export Development Canada, to be repaid within one year.
    • Small and medium-sized businesses can also get support through a new Co-Lending Program that will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to these businesses for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program, which will be risk-shared at 80 per cent between the Business Development Bank of Canada and the financial institutions. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and funding directly for customers.
  • The government has already introduced several measures to support businesses affected by COVID-19:
    • Providing eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10 per cent of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration.
    • Extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program, from 38 weeks to 76 weeks, for workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.
    • Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses, through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. These organizations are working closely with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, and tourism.
    • Increasing credit available for farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.
    • Deferring the payment of income taxes. The government is allowing all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of income tax amounts owed on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
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*Copy of Press Release*

Press Release: Economic Response Plan

Support Link: Economic Response Plan
Prime Minister announces more support for workers and businesses through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

March 18, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario
Prime Minister’s Office

The Government of Canada is taking strong and[...]

Support Link: Economic Response Plan
Prime Minister announces more support for workers and businesses through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

March 18, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario
Prime Minister’s Office

The Government of Canada is taking strong and quick action to protect our economy, and the health, safety, and jobs of all Canadians during the global COVID-19 outbreak.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy and help Canadians affected by the impacts of this challenging period.

These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy. Combined, this $82 billion in support represents more than 3 per cent of Canada’s GDP. This wide-ranging support will help ensure Canadians can pay for rent and groceries, and help businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills during this time of uncertainty.

This plan builds on coordinated action taken since the beginning of this outbreak, including the more than $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund, which provided funding to provinces and territories to strengthen critical health care systems. It represents over $500 billion in credit and liquidity support for people and businesses through cooperation between financial Crown corporations, the Bank of Canada, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), and commercial lenders to ensure businesses can continue to operate.

The actions announced today are part of Canada’s whole-of-government response to COVID-19. As a first step, this plan aims to stabilize our economy through targeted measures to address immediate challenges faced by workers and businesses alike. It will help ensure that workers have the money they need while they are sick or in isolation, or due to loss of work or a significant reduction in work income, and help support people and businesses experiencing financial hardship because of the outbreak.

Canadians should not make health decisions based on their financial needs. As the situation continues to evolve, further measures will be announced to support Canadians, stimulate the economy, and protect peoples’ jobs and livelihoods..

Support for workers

Canadians should not have to worry about paying their rent or mortgage or buying groceries because of the COVID-19 crisis. To support workers and their families, the Government of Canada is taking action to:

  • Provide additional assistance to families with children by temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments. This measure would deliver almost $2 billion in extra support.
  • Introduce an Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks to provide income support to workers who must stay home and do not have access to paid sick leave. This measure could provide up to $10 billion to Canadians, and includes:
  • Workers, including the self-employed, who are sick, quarantined, or who have been directed to self-isolate but do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
  • Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent or other dependents who are sick, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
  • EI-eligible and non EI-eligible working parents who must stay home without pay because of children who are sick or who need additional care because of school closures.
  • Introduce an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
  • Provide additional assistance to individuals and families with low and modest incomes with a special top-up payment under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit. This measure would inject $5.5 billion in the economy.
  • Waive, for a minimum of six months, the mandatory one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for workers in imposed quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate, as announced on March 11.
  • Waive the requirement for a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
  • Extend the tax filing deadline for individuals to June 1, and allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.  No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This measure will result in households having more money available during this period.
  • Provide eligible small businesses a 10 per cent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Employers benefiting from this measure would include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as not-for-profit organisations and charities.  This will help employers keep people on their payroll and help Canadians keep their jobs.
  • Provide increased flexibility to lenders to defer mortgage payments on homeowner government-insured mortgage loans to borrowers who may be experiencing financial difficulties related to the outbreak. Insurers will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately.

In addition, to provide targeted support for vulnerable groups, the Government is investing to:

  • Reduce minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for 2020 in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings.
  • Implement a six-month, interest-free, moratorium on Canada Student Loan payments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans.
  • Provide $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund, to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
  • Support women and children fleeing violence by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities. This includes funding for facilities in Indigenous communities.
  • Provide an additional $157.5 million to address the needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness through the Reaching Home program.

Support for businesses

In the face of an uncertain economic situation and tightening credit conditions, the Government is taking action to help affected businesses. To support Canadian businesses and help them retain their workers during this difficult time, the Government is announcing measures to:

  • Allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This measure will result in businesses having more money available during this period.
  • Increase the credit available to small, medium, and large Canadian businesses. As announced on March 13, a new Business Credit Availability Program will provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses experiencing cash flow challenges through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. The Government is ready to provide more capital through these financial Crown corporations.
  • Further expand Export Development Canada’s ability to provide support to domestic businesses.
  • Provide flexibility on the Canada Account limit, to allow the Government to provide additional support to Canadian businesses, when deemed to be in the national interest, to deal with exceptional circumstances.
  • Augment credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.
  • Launch an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program to purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). As announced on March 16, this will provide stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders and support continued lending to Canadian businesses and consumers. CMHC stands ready to further support liquidity and the stability of the financial markets through its mortgage funding programs as necessary. The Government will enable these measures by raising CMHC’s legislative limits to guarantee securities and insure mortgages by $150 billion each.

The six largest financial institutions in Canada have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges, such as pay disruption due to COVID-19, childcare disruption due to school or daycare closures, or those suffering from COVID-19. As a first step, this support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. The Government of Canada will continue to monitor evolving economic conditions and seek greater relief measures should it be necessary.

In order to move forward with implementing these new measures needed to provide timely support for Canadians and to ensure the Government has every tool at its disposal to address potential challenges that may arise, the Government intends to introduce special legislation and seek the approval of Parliament.

The Government of Canada will continue to take further action as required to prioritize the health and safety of Canadians, stabilize the economy, and mitigate the economic impact of this pandemic.

*COPY OF PRESS RELEASE*

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FAQs

  1. What is the COVID-19 also known as Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that originate in animals but are known to cause respiratory illness in humans, particularly during the fall and winter months. Other novel coronaviruses have included Severe Acute Respiratory[...]

  1. What is the COVID-19 also known as Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that originate in animals but are known to cause respiratory illness in humans, particularly during the fall and winter months. Other novel coronaviruses have included Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).

2. What are the symptoms of novel COVID-19?
Symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathingMany of these symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza and symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. Should you experience these symptoms AND have recently travelled internationally to an affected region, avoid contact with others and follow-up with your health care professional. Advise your health professional in advance of attending clinic of your symptoms and travel history.

3. What are the risks of getting COVID-19?
The public health risk associated with COVID-19 for Canada is low and generally low for Canadian travellers, but will vary depending on the destination.

Canada has no direct flights from Wuhan and the volume of travellers arriving indirectly from Wuhan is low. However, at this time, the Government of Canada recommends that Canadians avoid non-essential travel to China and Iran due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

Canada also recommends that Canadians avoid all travel to the province of Hubei due to very strict travel and movement restrictions imposed by Chinese authorities to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Current evidence suggests person-to-person spread is efficient when there is close contact.

Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available.

4. What can I do to protect myself?
As usual, continue to practice good hand washing techniques and hygiene practices. This includes washing thoroughly with soap and water, using hand sanitizer, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and staying at home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and follow-up with your health care professional.

Read the full list of FAQ’s here