COVID-19 Updates

CIQS is monitoring the fluid situation around COVID-19 closely as it relates to the Canadian marketplace and our industry. We have distributed regular updates to our members and stakeholders since the beginning of the pandemic and will continue to do so for its duration. This webpage is an additional resource on COVID-19 matters. Check back often for updates.

COVID-19 Reopening – May 2020

The provinces and territories across the country are slowly beginning to reopen their economies. Find details below:

  • British Columbia is reopening under a four-phase plan, with phase 2 starting in mid-May with medical services such as dentists, physiotherapy, massage therapy and elective surgeries. They will also open hair salons, restaurants, parks, daycare and office-based worksites – all as long as they adhere to enhanced safety measures. Click here for details.
  • Alberta is lifting restriction on some businesses and recreational areas throughout the province with the exception of Calgary and Brooks which will open more gradually due to higher number of COVID-19 cases. Click here for details.
  • Saskatchewan has a five-stage reopening plan commences on May 15 with the opening of golf courses and drive-in theatres. Phase two is scheduled to begin on May 19. For details, click here.
  • Phase one of Manitoba’s reopening plan commenced on May 4 with the opening of day camps, hair salons, parks and restoring non-urgent surgeries and diagnostic procedures. Click here for details.
  • Ontario is reopening in three phases. On May 16, golf courses, marinas, public boat launches and private parks will be allowed to open, followed by retail stores, individual/single competitor sports, pet grooming and indoor/outdoor household services on May 19th. All essential worker limits on construction will also be lifted on that day. For further details, click here.
  • Quebec started to slowly reopen parts of the province as early as May 4 with the reopening of retail businesses that have street access and lifting some checkpoints. Manufacturing, mining, some construction, school boards and real estate industry opened on May 11 and Montreal is scheduled to reopen on May 25. Click here for details.
  • New Brunswick is operating under an alert level system which determines what can reopen when. Currently they are in level orange which has opened golf courses, carpooling, retail businesses, restaurants and daycares, to name a few. For a complete list, click here.
  • Nova Scotia commenced their reopening plan on May 1 when they opened parks, sailing boating clubs (for people to prepare their boats only), golf course maintenance, garden centres and drive-in religious services. Click here for further details.
  • Prince Edward Island is reopening in four phases and they are currently under phase one which allows limited non-contact recreational activities, landscaping, outdoor construction and lessening of the limits on outdoor and indoor personal gatherings. Non-urgent health-care services, child care and retail businesses are scheduled to open under Phase 2 on May 22. Click here for further details.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador is operating under an alert level system and is currently under level 4. They have currently opened municipal parks, golf courses, fishing, gyms, some health care services, garden centres and professional services. For a complete list, click here.
  • The Northwest Territories has a four-phase plan for reopening the territory which may be able to commence in mid-to-late May. For details, click here.

COVID-19 Updates

The Canadian law firm, McCarthy Tétrault, has created an emergency measures tracker that lists timely updates on responses and emergency measures implemented by governments and jurisdictions across Canada.

  • Click here for a map showing the current number of COVID-19 cases across Canada, by province/territory.
  • COVID-19 Fact Sheets, including printable infographics – click here.

There is currently a global travel advisory in effect due to COVID-19. Canadians are advised to avoid:

  • Non-essential travel outside Canada, and
  • All cruise ship travel

All international flight arrivals are redirected to one of four airports:

  • Calgary International Airport
  • Vancouver International Airport
  • Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
  • Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s International Airport

Click here to further information.

Click here for the latest information on legislative and other measures adopted by the Government of Canada to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on Canadians.

The main symptoms of COVID-19 include Cough, Fever and Difficulty Breathing. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear and recent evidence has shown that even those who have not yet developed, or never develop, symptoms can transmit the virus. It is therefore important to follow these preventive measures:

  • Stay home unless you have to go to work
  • Avoid unnecessary trips within your community (exception: going to the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor)
  • Do not gather in groups (refer to your province/territory/municipality for local regulations)
  • Always maintain a distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) from others (exception: those with whom you live – except if they are sick. They should then self-isolate in a room/area of the house until they are well)

You may go for a walk if: (refer to your province/territory/municipality for local rules)

  • You are well
  • Have not tested positive for COVID-19
  • Have not travelled outside Canada (includes USA) in the last 14 days
  • Are not in quarantine or self-isolation

Learn about the state of emergency mandates and other COVID-19 measures in your province or territory:


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Federal Government Response to COVID-19

The Federal government has implemented a variety of programs meant to help Canadian workers and businesses under the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Below is a sample of the support programs available. For further details and the complete list, click here.

Support for Business

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) supports employers affected by COVID-19 to help them maintain their staff. The subsidy covers up to $847 per week of an employees salary for companies that saw a gross revenue loss of at least 15% in March and 30% in April and May. Calculate your subsidy amount here. Applications open April 27, 2020.
  • The Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy allows employers to reduce the payroll deductions to CRA by 10% for three months.
  • Work-Sharing Programs will be extended to a maximum 76 weeks from 38 weeks for employees that are eligible for EI and that have agreed to reduce their hours worked due to reasons beyond an employer’s control, such as the current COVID-19 social distancing measures.
  • The Canada Summer Jobs Program temporary changes make it possible for private and public sector employers to receive up to 100% of the provincial/territorial minimum wage, hire part-time staff, and extend the work end-date to February 28, 2021.
  • The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) is a collaboration between the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and the Expert Development Canada (EDC) to work with private lenders to provide operating cash and cash flow loans to Small and Medium Enterprises. SMEs can apply now through financial institutions or credit unions.
  • The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides small businesses and NPO’s with interest-free loans of up to $40,000 towards operating costs. To apply, the company must have had payroll costs of between $20,000 and $1.5 million in 2019. Applications can be completed via the company’s bank or credit union.
  • Businesses are allowed to defer income tax payments that are owed between March 15 and September 2020 until after August 31, 2020 without interest or penalties.
  • Businesses and self-employed persons may defer paying GST/HST and customs dues owing on imports until June 30, 2020.
  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) offers a $2,000 taxable benefit every four weeks for up to 16 weeks to eligible individuals who have lost their jobs, or makes no more than $1000 per month, due to COVID-19. Learn more about CERB here.
  • Programs were implemented to support financial stability, such as lowering interest rates, lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25%, offering temporary relief for federally regulated pension plan sponsors and launching an Insured Mortgage Purchasing Program.

Support for Individuals

  • Recipients of the Canada Child Benefit will see an increase of $300 per child for 2019-2020.
  • The income tax filing due date for individuals has been deferred to June 1, 2020 with payments of amounts owing deferred to after August 31, 2020 without penalties or interest accrued.
  • Mortgage Payment Deferrals are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis by banks to find solutions for homeowners in need to help them manage their monthly mortgage payments.
  • The Federal portion of student loan repayments and interest is automatically suspended until September 30, 2020.