- What should I do if I think I have symptoms or think I may have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19?
- Where can I get the most up to date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and actions being taken to protect the health of Albertans?
- Is there anything I should not do?
The following measures ARE NOT effective against COVID-2019 and can be harmful:
– Wearing multiple masks
– Taking antibiotics
- In any case, if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early to reduce the risk of developing a more severe infection and be sure to share your recent travel history with your health care provider.
- How long does the virus live on surfaces? – It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment). If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
- Should I be wearing a mask in public?
- April 6: Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam advised Canadians that wearing a non-medical mask, even without symptoms, is an additional measure that can be taken to protect others, especially where social distancing is a challenge (ie: public transit). Physical distancing still remains the primary way to avoid contacting the virus. Non-medical masks are not considered suitable protection against contracting the virus yourself.
- Is it okay to attend large public gatherings?
- Alberta Schools
- All Classes in K to 12 schools are cancelled until further notice
- All Grade 6 and 9 provincial achievement tests and grade 12 diploma exams are cancelled
- School authorities will offer at-home learning opportunities for all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students
- Each student will get final grades and a report card appropriate to their grade level
- High school students on track to receive 100 or more credits will still be eligible to graduate
- Alberta daycares and day homes
- Select licensed child care centres will begin reopening to provide child care for core service workers.
- Access will be prioritized to health care practitioners and critical infrastructure workers.
- Additional space will then be available to first responders and others.
- Children’s Services will contact the centres that will be reopening directly.
- Centres will initially be chosen based on proximity to health care facilities and will be reopened in phases based on areas of need.
- Parents will be notified by their employer if they qualify to send their children to newly re-opened centres.ttps://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx
- Alberta Post secondary institutions
- Effective immediately, student attendance at post-secondary institutions is prohibited until further notice.
- The government will also be working with post-secondary institutions to ensure that these extraordinary circumstances do not prevent students from being eligible for admission to post-secondary studies for the upcoming school year.
- Postal Services
Canada Post continues to operate normally at this time. You can purchase your stamps from home and receive them with free shipping by ordering at https://www.canadapost.ca/shop/stamps/canada.jsf.
If you have previously registered your trip with the federal government and did not take your trip, or have no intention to return there in the near future, please send an email to the Registration of Canadians Abroad email address at email@example.com to end the registration of your trip in their system. This will allow the government to focus on the remaining registrants who may need assistance.
Canada has closed its borders to most people who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada (see exemptions below). There is an international flight ban in effect. Anyone showing symptoms (Canadian or otherwise), will not be allowed into the country. Anyone who is symptomatic during a flight will be dealt with by in-flight operations.
All Canadian-bound international flights will only be allowed into four Canadian airports – Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. This does not currently apply to USA flights, but that is subject to change. No current flight restrictions are being placed on domestic in-Canada flights (except if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19). Crews, planes, trains, and truck drivers will have access to cross-border travel under exemptions.
Canadians who are suffering from symptoms of COVID-19 will be prohibited from traveling by air or rail both domestically and internationally.
- All travelers returning from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days to ensure they are not sick. Follow these steps if you feel sick:
- Should I be canceling my travel plans because of COVID-19?
- YES! This includes non-essential domestic travel.
- On March 6th, the Government of Canada advised Canadians to ‘think twice’ about cruise ships, especially if you are elderly or have underlying health conditions. Then, on March 9th, the Government of Canada officially advised all Canadians to avoid all cruise ships.
- The Government of Canada is monitoring cruise ships closely. As of April 6, the Government of Canada is monitoring 7 Cruise Ships with approximately 145 Canadians still aboard. There are an additional 36 cruise ships with 167 Canadian crew members.
- All Canadians are being advised to return to Canada as soon as possible utilizing commercial options. There are currently no plans for repatriation flights for those who are abroad and where commercial options remain available.
- Both provincial and federal health officials have issued advice to all Canadians to avoid or cancel all international travel. Many airlines have waive change fees. In short, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, health officials are asking you not to travel internationally at this time. Health officials are also ordering Canadians arriving back from international travel to self-isolated for 14 days.
- WestJet has suspended all international flights – https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel-info/coronavirus. WestJet continues to maintain service to all Canadian cities it serves. (Westjet will be flying Canadians back from Trinidad and Cuba as announced on April 2nd.)
- Porter Airlines has suspended all flights until June 1.
- Air Canada has now suspended some flights. Check with the airline for the latest details.
- Air Transat has suspended all flights.
- More information here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html
- I am currently outside of Canada. Should I be returning home to Canada earlier than planned?
- Yes, the Government of Canada has advised Canadians to:
- Find out what commercial options are still available to return to Canada. Consider returning to Canada now as these options are becoming more limited. There are currently no plans for repatriation flights for those who are abroad and where commercial options remain available.
- The US-Canada border is now closed to non-essential travel. Those returning to Canada by vehicle from the United States will be permitted to return to Canada, however, future local travel restrictions in the United States may impede your ability to actually make it back to the border.
- Ensure that you have sufficient finances and necessities, including medication, in case your travels are disrupted.
- More info: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
- PERMANENT RESIDENTS:
- Permanent Residents are not allowed to participate in the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) nor are they eligible to receive the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad.
- However, since Permanent Residents are eligible for flights facilitated by the Government of Canada, we encourage PRs to contact the local Canadian Embassy or the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (firstname.lastname@example.org) in order to express their interest.
Why these countries for flights? Why not a flight from X?
The Government of Canada’s goal is to facilitate access to countries with a high number of Canadians aboard seeking to return home but without commercial access to do so. The Government of Canada will not be able to facilitate the return of all Canadians.
Despite more countries closing their borders for defined or indefinite periods, many countries continue to permit airlines to operate limited commercial flights to Canada, or are already working with commercial carriers to facilitate the return of previously booked passengers home.
Priority countries: Peru, Spain, Morocco, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Tunisia, Ukraine, Poland, India, Philippians, Pakistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Sudan (Westjet will be flying Canadians back from Trinidad and Cuba as announced on April 2nd.)
Being monitored: United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Nepal
- Either me or my family member is outside of Canada and is affected by travel bans. What should we do?
- Canadians traveling outside of Canada in need of emergency consular assistance can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 613 996 8885 or email email@example.com. Call volumes are increased.
- The Emergency 24/7 line (+1 613-996-8885) usually has 100 people working over the course of 3 shifts per day. The Government has increased that number to 600 people working over the course of 3 shifts per day.
- All travellers returning from outside Canada must self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms. This includes those returning to Canada by private vehicle and land crossings.
- International Travel Exemptions: The Government of Canada updated travel restrictions put in place to stem the spread of COVID-19. Exemptions to the air travel restrictions will apply to foreign nationals who have already committed to working, studying or making Canada their home, and travel by these individuals will be considered essential travel for land border restrictions. The exemptions include:
- seasonal agricultural workers, fish/seafood workers, caregivers and all other temporary foreign workers
- international students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020
- permanent resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before the travel restrictions were announced on March 16, 2020, but who had not yet traveled to Canada
- As of April 4th, 9.775 Canadians will have returned to Canada on 53 flights from 33 countries organized by the Government of Canada.
- Quarantine Sites: Under the Quarantine Act, the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) has designated 13 quarantine sites in 8 cities across the country. As of April 8, there are 1,511 rooms available for quarantine (total room capacity is 1,528) and there are 24 travellers in quarantine sites (Toronto 8, Montreal 14, Vancouver 2). Seventeen travellers are in federal quarantine sites and 7 travellers are in a separate lodging (ON) that are for travellers who are unable to identify a suitable dwelling for self quarantine. The 71 Canadian passengers from the Coral Princess charter who stayed 1 night in a quarantine site have travelled to final destination.
IMPORTANT: You must have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Account set up and your direct deposit information completed BEFORE applying for benefits. This can be done at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/cra-login-services.html.
The federal government has established the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who have lost their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This benefit is only available to those with no current income and whose work stopped as a result of COVID-19. (Other Employment Insurance (EI) programs are available for those on reduced hours.)
(The Benefit, in the amount of $2,000, will be paid in blocks of four weeks. This is equivalent to $500 per week. A maximum 16 weeks of benefits can be paid. The Benefit is taxable although tax will not be deducted at source. You will be expected to report the Benefit as income when you file your income tax for the 2020 tax year.)
Information about this benefit is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html. The CERB applications are now open based on the schedule below and the Government expects to have money out to people in 2-3 days through the Canada Revenue Agency. Once applications are open, anyone who could be eligible should apply to this benefit.
Applications will open on April 6th through the 9th depending on the applicant’s birth month.
April 6 for those born January to March
April 7 for those born April to June
April 8 for those born July to September
- April 9 for those born October to December
- April 10th and going forward anyone can apply on any day
Please note that if you are presently receiving EI payments, you should stay on EI and not apply for this benefit. However, if your EI benefits are scheduled to end before October 3, you may qualify for this CERB benefit and should apply.
If your CERB benefit runs out (after 16 weeks) and you are still unemployed and EI eligible, you can apply for EI at that time.
*New- Existing applications to EI that are not processed by the time the CERB opens up will be automatically transferred to the CERB. Applications to EI processed before that time will result in the applicant receiving EI benefits.
CERB – Frequently Asked Questions – https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application/questions.html?fbclid=IwAR3KVh-L_O98_C4DjrdGUfBBtmxKrEyypP9p9CMMrH4BwjrQUr76n2lJEtw
Those who do not qualify for the CERB benefit should consult https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-supports-for-albertans.aspx for other support options.
April 6 – The Government of Canada has announced that CERB will be adjusted in some way to support:
- People who have had their hours reduced to less than ten hours a week
- People who currently make less than the CERB benefit provides
- Students who cannot find jobs
We do not know if this means they will be eligible for CERB – We await more details
Advice to Canadians
- Someone who is laid off who is EI eligible (Eligibility)
- They should apply for EI immediately – Online is the best option.
- There have been no changes to the waiting period or time to received benefits under regular EI.
- Someone who is sick, under quarantine, or caring for someone sick and is EI eligible.
- They should apply for EI sickness immediately – Online is the best option
- 1 week waiting period is being waived for COVID cases
- Someone who is laid off but is not EI eligible
- The new Emergency Support benefit is for them (info here)
- We do not have a lot of details for this yet, but they say it will be EI-like for people who are not eligible for regular EI
- Will not be open until April – details on how long it will take to get benefits are unknown.
- Someone who is sick, under quarantine, or caring for someone sick and is not EI eligible.
- The new Emergency Care benefit is for them (info here)
- Like the previous one we don’t have all the details and it will not be open to applications until April – people can apply online through Service Canada or CRA.
- Someone who is in a dire situation and cannot pay their bills or feed their family.
- They need to look into provincial social assistance programs which can provide emergency support.
If I have to stay home from work, will I get EI payments?
LOW INCOME CANADIANS – GST / HST: Canadians receiving the GST/HST credit will receive a one-time boost in May 2020: $400 for individuals, $600 per couple, and $150 per child.
ALBERTA – UTILITY BILLS: The Alberta government has promised no one will be cut off from electricity or heat during this public health emergency. Albertans can defer their utility bills (residential and small commercial bills) for the next 90 days.
FAMILIES – CHILD CARE BENEFIT (CCB): Increase $300 per child into the existing amounts for the CCB to be delivered on the May 2020 benefit.
STUDENTS: All student loan PAYMENTS suspended for 6 months (commitment by provincial and federal government)
PAYMENT DEFERRALS FOR MORTGAGES: Effective immediately, the six largest banks in Canada (Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD) will offer up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. Full announcement here: https://cba.ca/canada-six-biggest-banks-take-decisive-action-to-help-customers-impacted-by-covid-19
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.
Helping Canadians with the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Important changes to tax-filing and payment deadlines https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update.html
The Government has announced additional 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.
This 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 has:
- Announced 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. On March 30th, the Government announced that all businesses, regardless of the number of employees they have, whose revenue has decreased by 30 per cent or more due to COVID-19 will be eligible for up to 75 per cent wage subsidy. Businesses are encouraged to top up their employees’ wages with the remaining 25 per cent of their salaries.
- The subsidy will cover up to 75% up to $58,700 in annual earnings which could mean payments of up to $847 a week retroactive to March 15, 2020.
- Charities and not-for-profit organizations are also able to apply.
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy -announced April 1st, 2020
- Details: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/04/the-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy.html
- Businesses must show 30 per cent decline in revenue.
- Revenue decline is measured against the same month last year.
- 75 % of the first $58, 700 of income.
- Max of $847 per week per employee.
- Need to re-apply each month.
- This will apply to the hospitality sector, and non-profits and charities.
- Employers will need to attest that they are doing everything they can to pay the remaining 25%.
- Apply online through CRA portal-available soon.
- Funds will be available in approximately 6 weeks.
- The government has issued a stern warning of severe punishment for those who take advantage of the system.
- This wage subsidy has an estimated cost of $71 billion.
April 8 – In order to address the realities faced by the not-for-profit sector, high growth companies and new businesses, the Government proposes the following additional flexibility. 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.
- To measure their revenue loss, it is proposed that all employers have the flexibility to compare their revenue of March, April and May 2020 to that of the same month of 2019, or to an average of their revenue earned in January and February 2020.
- For March, the Government proposes to make the CEWS more accessible than originally announced by reducing the 30-per-cent benchmark to 15 per cent, in recognition of the fact that many businesses did not begin to be affected by the crisis until partway through the month.
- In recognition that the time between when revenue is earned and when it is paid could be highly variable in certain sectors of the economy, it is proposed that employers be allowed to measure revenues either on the basis of accrual accounting (as they are earned) or cash accounting (as they are received). Special rules would also be provided to address issues for corporate groups, non-arm’s length entities and joint ventures.
- Registered charities and non-profit organizations would also be able to benefit from the additional flexibilities being provided to employers with respect to the revenue loss calculation. In addition, to recognize that different types of organizations are experiencing different types of funding pressures, it is proposed that charities and non-profit organizations be allowed to choose to include or exclude government funding in their revenues for the purpose of applying the revenue reduction test.
- 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.
These measures are a part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which provides direct support and tax deferrals to Canadian workers and businesses to help them in these difficult times.
- Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments
- Deferral of Customs Duty and Sales Tax for Importers
- New Loan Programs for Businesses
- Canada Revenue Agency’s Additional Measures for Individuals and Businesses
- 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. (Please note that a 75% wage subsidy is also available with different eligibility – see above)
- 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.
- I have a small business. Where else can I get more information about how this will impact me?
CFIB has provided information to small businesses regarding their obligations to employees – Visit https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/tools-resources/covid-19-coronavirus-business for more detailed information.
- Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plan allows employers to increase their employees’ weekly earnings when they are unemployed due to a temporary stoppage of work, training, illness, injury or quarantine. Payments from SUB plans that are registered with Service Canada are not considered as earnings and are not deducted from EI benefits (pursuant to subsection 37(1) of the EI Regulations). https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/ei-employers-supplemental-unemployment-benefit.html
- EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE – LOANS: The Federal Government has established a $10 billion fund through Business Development Bank of Canada and Exports and Development Canada. Companies impacted by the COVID-19 will have access to credit and loans through financial institutions.
Here are the current options available:
Small Business Loan: Up to $100,000 can be obtained online
Working Capital Loan: For loans over $100,000 and can support everyday operations
Purchase Order Financing: Loans to fulfill domestic or international orders.
For specific questions about applying for funding, contact BDC at 1-877-232-2269 or consult the online assessment tool.
Full announcement here: https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx?special-initiative=covid19
INDIVIDUAL OFFERS TO ASSIST:
At the current time, there is not a call for the general public to offer formal assistance. It is recommended that those looking to offer assistance reach out to their immediate neighbours, friends and family to offer assistance. Many Seniors, and those with underlying health issues, are self isolating for their own protection and may require assistance with an important errand. If we can all help those we know, it will allow authorities to remain focused on other needs.
Blood Donation – Canada relies on volunteer blood donations. The majority of donors are Seniors (37%). If you are in good health, please consider donating blood at this time. Find the closest blood donor clinic at www.blood.ca.
BUSINESS OFFERS TO ASSIST:
Canada is fortunate to have manufacturers who are interested in providing supplies during this time. We have been provided two emails that are being closely monitored to ensure a timely response.
Health product industry page
“Calling on Suppliers”
For any questions/requests/applications for medical devices, including test kits, please direct people to:
For any questions/requests/applications for other health products, including hand sanitizer, please direct people to:
- Disposable N95 masks
- Disposable surgical masks
- Nitrile gloves
- Vinyl gloves
- Bottles of hand sanitizer
- Other prevention products
- Guard / security services
- Nursing services
- Food services
- Laundry services
- Accommodation maintenance services
- Personal services
- IT support services
- Other services
For more information or to offer assistance, please visit https://buyandsell.gc.ca/calling-all-suppliers-help-canada-combat-covid-19
For clinical trial sponsors
Companies and researchers with drugs, medical devices, or natural health products that may be effective in treating or diagnosing COVID-19 are encouraged to contact us to facilitate clinical trials.
Clinical trials are studies to find out whether a drug or medical device is safe and effective for people. We can authorize a clinical trial quickly in urgent situations.
Please contact us at:
Information for Alberta employees and employers
Do you have any awareness resources in other languages available?