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.


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

  • British Columbia is currently in Phase 3 of the provincial reopening strategy which means that in addition to the businesses that were allowed to open in Phase 2, travel within the province is now allowed and schools were able to open earlier this fall. Other safety measures such as social gathering guidelines are still in effect, which is especially important to note during the autumn holiday season. An autumn holiday guide has been prepared by the province to offer guidelines for social gatherings during the cooler months.

    For current COVID-19 statistics throughout British Columbia, click here.
  • Alberta is currently in Stage 2 of their three-stage reopening plan, allowing larger gatherings and more businesses to open as long as they adhere to safety guidelines. Some of the businesses that are now open include libraries, wellness services, aesthetic services, movie theatres, gyms, campgrounds and tradeshows. There is greater flexibility of the number of people for cohorts and no caps on restaurants, bars and places of worship. Click here for more information.
  • Saskatchewan is currently in Phase 4 of a five-phase reopening plan. In addition to the businesses that were allowed to open under Phase 3, places such as kid’s camps, pools and splash pads, libraries and museums, casinos and bingo halls, tradeshows and conference centres are now allowed to be open. Safety measures must be adhered to at all times. Click here for more information.
  • Manitoba’s Provincial Response Level is currently Yellow (Caution) but Winnipeg and surrounding areas were moved to Orange (Restricted) on October 19 in response to the rising cases and hospitalizations in that region. Under this higher response level, gatherings are maxed out at 5 people, nightclubs, bars, casinos, bingo halls, video lounges and entertainment facilities with live music must close. Restaurants, retail stores, museums and libraries can remain open at 50% capacity. Restaurants may only seat a max of 5 people per table with physical distancing in between, logs must be maintained, and masks are mandated to be worn inside all public spaces. Learn more here for more information.

    Anyone travelling to Manitoba must quarantine for 14 days unless they have travelled to Western Canada (BC, AB, SK, Yukon, NWT or Nunavut) or Northwestern Ontario (parts of Ontario located west of Terrace Bay). Click here for more information.
  • Ontario is currently in Stage 3, but due to a steep rise in new active cases within the last few weeks, certain hot spots (Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York Regions) have been mandated back to modified Stage 2 safety measures, restricting occupancy rates for social gatherings, public and corporate events (including event/conference venues) to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors. The new measures also close bars, nightclubs, casinos, bingo halls and indoor gyms and prohibits indoor dining at restaurants. Read more here.

    As of October 4th, assessment centres will no longer offer walk-in testing services, transitioning instead to appointment-based testing on October 6th. The provincial government has also revised the testing guidelines for children, making it easier for parents to determine if the child needs a COVID-19 test.

    Mask are mandated province-wide for all public indoor settings and all Ontarians are asked to suspend their social circles, keeping physical distance from anyone outside of their household (with some exceptions). Read more about this and other safety measures here.
  • In late September, the province of Quebec saw a rapid increase in news cases, especially in Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches, causing Premier Legault to declare those areas to be placed on Red Alert for 28 days to mitigate the numbers as of October 1. During that period, bars, concert halls, museums, libraries and other gathering places will close. Restaurants will only be open for take-out and gathering with people outside of one’s household is prohibited.

    In all other areas of Quebec, all activity sectors in Quebec have reopened. Private gatherings can be no more than 10 people from a maximum of three households. Businesses and stores can resume regular activities, but it is recommended that those who can work remotely continue to do so. Masks are mandatory for everyone over the age of 10 on public transit as well as in enclosed and partially enclosed places. Click here for more information.
  • New Brunswick is operating on the Yellow alert level, which means all businesses and activities are allowed to operate as long as they follow the COVID-19 operational plan. Gatherings must also adhere to all safety measures and unmonitored gatherings (in-or-outdoors) cannot exceed 50 people. Where physical distancing is not possible in public spaces, mask must be worn. Click here for more information.
  • Nova Scotia updates their reopening restrictions regularly based on the spread of COVID-19 and current situation within in the province. Some of the latest updates includes a rise in gathering limits to 50 without a need for physical distancing for performance arts and sports. Bars and restaurants were allowed to serve food and alcohol until 1:00am as of October 16, 2020. For up-to-date information, click here.
  • Prince Edward Island is moving towards a “new normal” way of life, which will be in effect until there is a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. Travellers are required to quarantine upon entering PEI and screening remains at PEI entry points. Masks are to be worn in-and-outdoors where physical distancing is not possible. Updated regulations for private gatherings, business operations, health care, schooling and more are scheduled came into effect on October 1, 2020. Read the complete list of updates here.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador are operating under an alert level system and remains at Level 4. They currently allow the operation of golf courses, some health care services, garden centres and professional services. Funerals, burials, and weddings are restricted to ten people and visitation/wakes are not permitted. Playgrounds in municipal parks and campgrounds remain closed as to gyms, arenas and performance studios. Non-essential retail businesses such as bars and movie theatres are closed. Restaurants are allowed to be open for take-out. Click here for more information.
  • The Northwest Territories has relaxed the restrictions under Phase 1 of their four-phase plan for reopening the territory. Playgrounds, schools, gyms, museums and personal services are allowed to open. Bars, night clubs and movie theatres and dine-in restaurants remain closed. Click here for more information.
  • Nunavut has allowed all licensed establishments to open with regular hours, as well as youth centres and day camps. Offices and retail, galleries, museums, personal care (health and aesthetic), parks, daycares and municipal playgrounds are permitted to open as long as they follow safety regulations. To travel into Nunavut, all passengers must have a letter of authority from the Chief Public Health Officer. There are strict isolation requirements for entering Nunavut (click here).

    Those travelling within the Nunavut and NWT Common Travel Area or the Nunavut and Churchill, MB Common Travel Area are exempt from the isolation requirement, pursuant to having followed the common travel area safety mandates (click here). Click here for more information.


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:

CIQS Communications

CIQS office now open with limited staff

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.