COVID-19 Updates & Announcements

COVID-19 Updates and Announcements

COVID-19 is a fast-changing situation with numerous updates and announcements happening very quickly. To stay organized, we've created this updates page specifically for COVID-19 announcements. 

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posted below if they don't directly relate to employers/ees
 

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April 13, 2021 - ALBERTA
COVID-19: Offers More COVID Recovery Aid for Alberta’s Small Businesses

Small businesses affected by the most recent public health orders can now access another payment of up to $10,000 from the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant.

New Resources Province of Alberta

April 13, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Invests $50 million in new Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant

The BC government will provide more than $50 million to help the 14,000 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness centres affected by the March 30, 2021, provincial health orders. 

The new Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant will provide affected businesses with one-time funding to help with expenses like rent, insurance, employee wages, maintenance and utilities. It can also help cover unexpected costs, such as the purchase of perishable goods, that resulted from COVID-19 restrictions. 

New Resources Province of British Columbia

April 13, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Extends provincial state of emergency until April 27

BC has formally extended the provincial state of emergency through the end of the day on April 27, 2021, to allow staff to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns and COVID-19 outbreaks.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

April 8, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Permits WorkSafeBC to Shut Down Businesses for 10 days due to COVID-19 Transmission

WorkSafeBC inspectors have been given new enforcement powers in an effort to help stop COVID-19 transmission in workplaces across the province. 

As of Monday, April 12, WorkSafeBC inspectors to shut down a business for at least 10 days if three or more employees contract COVID-19. However, the new public health measure doesn't apply to emergency services such as police, fire, health care, grocery stores and pharmacies.

New Resources Province of British Columbia

April 8, 2021 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Enacts Provincial Emergency Stay-at-Home Order

Effective today, Thursday, April 8, 2021, the government is issuing a province-wide Stay-at-Home order that will last for 28 days and will require everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise , or for work that cannot be done remotely. 

Issuance of Policy Province of Ontario

April 8, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Opens Applications for PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment

The B.C. PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment is a temporary provincial sales tax (PST) program to help businesses recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19.

Incorporated businesses can apply to receive an amount equal to the PST they paid between September 17, 2020 and September 30, 2021 on select machinery and equipment, including tools, furniture, computers, software and zero-emission vehicles.

New Resources Province of British Columbia

April 6, 2021 - ALBERTA
COVID-19: Moves Back into Step 1 of COVID-19 Restrictions

Effective Tuesday, April 6, updated mandatory health measures go into effect for retail, fitness and performance activities.

Effective at noon on Friday, April 9, restaurants will be restricted to providing only takeout, delivery and patio service. Indoor in-person service is no longer permitted.

Issuance of Policy Province of Alberta

April 1, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Invests $10 Million in Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up Grant Program

The Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up Grant program will support innovation and diversification in BC's manufacturing sector with a $10 million investment in small and medium-sized businesses.

The program will provide 75% of project costs to a maximum of $250,000 for individual business projects, or up to $500,000 for projects by a group of businesses.

New Resources Province of British Columbia

April 1, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Guarantees Job-protected Leave for Workers to get COVID-19 Vaccines

The BC government announced today that all part-time and full-time workers in the province will be granted job-protected leave in order to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

New Legislation Province of British Columbia

March 30, 2021 - MANITOBA
COVID-19: Withdraws $215 Million from "Rainy Day Fund" to Support Local Businesses 

The Manitoba government has withdrawn $215 million from the rainy day fund to support local businesses who have been impacted by public health restrictions.

New Resources Province of Manitoba

March 30, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Provides $1.87 Million to Give Commercial Recreation Businesses a Break on Rent

BC is providing an additional $1.87 million to assist more businesses that hold eligible tenures for fishing and hunting lodges, guest ranches, ecotourism lodges, seasonal campgrounds and other commercial recreation operators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Resources Province of British Columbia

March 29, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Announces New Provincial Public Health Orders effective March 30

New and amended provincial public health orders and guidelines are in effect from March 30, 2021 through April 19, 2021 and include:

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

March 29, 2021 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Invests $200 Million in Ontario Tourism Industry 

Ontario is providing the province’s tourism employers with $200 million to help the industry recover from the impacts of the pandemic. 

New Resources Province of Ontario

March 24, 2021 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Invests an Additional $1.7 Billion in Ontario Small Business Support Grant

On March 24, the Ontario government announced a second round of support through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant.  Small businesses who have been determined as eligible recipients for the grant will automatically be entitled to a second payment in an amount equal to the first payment they receive. They will not need to apply again to receive this additional funding.

Updated Resources Province of Ontario

March 23, 2021 - SASKATCHEWAN
COVID-19: Extends Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment

The Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment will be extended to those businesses impacted by the Public Health Order announced on March 23, 2021. 

Issuance of Policy Province of Saskatchewan

March 19 , 2021 - CANADA
COVID-19: Extends Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) Application Period to June 30

Launched on April 9, 2020, CEBA provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses, to help cover their operating costs—such as rent, utilities and insurance—during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

Updated Resources All Provinces

March 18 , 2021 - CANADA
COVID-19: Invests $12.1 Billion to Increase Number of Weeks Available through EI & Canada Recovery Benefits

Bill C-24 has received Royal Assent, consequently increasing the maximum number of weeks available to workers through EI regular benefits. Workers claiming EI regular benefits can now access up to a maximum of 50 weeks for claims established between September 27, 2020 to September 25, 2021.

Updated Resources All Provinces

March 18, 2021 - SASKATCHEWAN
COVID-19: Introduces 3 Hour Special Vaccination Leave for Employees

Saskatchewan has amended its occupational health and safety regulations to allow an employee to get paid time off from work to get a COVID-19 vaccination. The new regulation comes into force immediately.

Issuance of Policy Province of Saskatchewan

March 17, 2021 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Provides Guidance for Voluntary COVID-19 Testing in the Workplace

The Ontario government has published guidance for businesses and employees with respect to voluntary, supervised self-swabbing for COVID-19 in the workplace via rapid antigen point-of-care tests. These tests can be performed at workplaces by trained individuals and do not require shipping a specimen to a lab for processing.

Updated Resources Province of Ontario

March 17, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Expands Eligibility & Funding for Launch Online Grant Program

Additional grant funding and expanded eligibility criteria has been announced for the Launch Online Grant program.

The BC government has:

  • Invested an additional $30 million to help BC-businesses move their business online. 
  • Expanded the eligibility criteria so that businesses that want to enhance or build an online booking system are now eligible to apply. 
Updated Resources Province of British Columbia

March 4, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Extends & Expands Eligibility for Business Recovery Grant Program

As of March 4, 2021, new program criteria for the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program is as follows:

  • The program has been extended from March 31, 2021 to August 31, 2021 or until funds are fully expended, whichever comes first
  • The previous requirement for a business to have experienced at least a 70% revenue loss at some point in March or April 2020 has been adjusted. Businesses only need to show a 30% revenue loss from March 2020 to now when compared to the same one-month period in 2019.
  • Help preparing a complete application package is now available from a registered Small Business BC service provider
Updated Resources Province of British Columbia

March 4, 2021 - MANITOBA
COVID-19: Issues Third Round of Manitoba Bridge Grant Payments

The budget for the Manitoba Bridge Grant has increased as they've added a third round of payments to help protect businesses in the province from the impacts of COVID-19.

Eligible businesses that received a first and second bridge grant payment, each worth up to $5,000, will automatically receive a third equal payment beginning as early as Friday, March 5 and will be notified of the deposit via email.

Updated Resources Province of Manitoba

March 3, 2021 - MANITOBA
COVID-19: Extends State of Emergency for a Period of 30 Days

The Manitoba government has extended the provincewide state of emergency to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The extension came into effect Wednesday, March 3 at 4 p.m. and will remain for a period of 30 days.

For more information, check out this news release

Issuance of Policy Province of Manitoba

March 3 , 2021 - CANADA
COVID-19: Announces Wage and Rent Subsidy Amounts to Remain Unchanged Through to June

The Canadian government intends to extend the current rate structures for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support from March 14 to June 5, 2021. Specifically:

  • The maximum wage subsidy rate for active employees would remain at 75%
  • The maximum rent subsidy rate would remain at 65%
  • Lockdown Support would remain at 25% and continue to be provided in addition to the rent subsidy, providing eligible hard hit businesses with rent support of up to 90%.
Updated Resources All Provinces

March 2, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Extends State of Emergency to March 16

The Province of British Columbia has formally extended the provincial state of emergency through the end of the day on March 16, 2021. 

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

March 1, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Waives Premiums for Employers Receiving the CEWS & Provides Earning Reduction Calculation Worksheet

WorkSafeBC is waiving premiums for employers who receive the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for wages paid to furloughed workers.

Updated Resources Province of British Columbia

Small businesses with 2 to 19 employees in all eligible sectors - expanded from 2-9 employees - including those in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector, can now apply for up to $1,000 in financial support. 

Small businesses can apply for the Main Street Relief Grant today. 

Febraury 18, 2021 - ALBERTA
COVID-19: Invests $120 Million in Funding for the New Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit

The Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit will provide payments of up to $10,000 to eligible small and medium businesses affected by the pandemic. Applications will open in mid-April 2021.

The Government of Alberta has committed $120 million in funding for the new benefit, which will provide funding to businesses that have experienced a revenue reduction of at least 60%. 

New Resources Province of Alberta

February 17, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Invests $4.5 Million to Support Rural Businesses during Pandemic

The BC government is investing $4.5 million to help rural businesses recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic.

New Resources Province of British Columbia

February 16, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Extends State of Emergency until March 2 

The BC government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency through the end of the day on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. This will allow staff to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns and COVID-19 outbreaks.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

February 11 , 2021 - CANADA
COVID-19: Expands RRRF to Offer up to an Additional $20,000 for Eligible Small Businesses

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) has been expanded to align with the increased funding available under the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

Updated Resources All Provinces

February 9, 2021 - MANITOBA
COVID-19: Loosens Restrictions to Take Next Steps in Provinces Reopening

Manitoba is taking the next steps in its reopening plans as loosened restrictions will be coming into effect this Friday, February 12 and will be in place for three weeks.

Issuance of Policy Province of Manitoba

February 8, 2021 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Extends Stay-at-Home Order across most of the Province

The Ontario government is maintaining the shutdown in the majority of the public health regions in the province, including the Stay-at-Home order and all existing public health and workplace safety measures.

Issuance of Policy Province of Ontario

Febraury 7, 2021 - ALBERTA
COVID-19: New Businesses and Unregistered Sole Proprietors can now Apply for Financial Assistance 

Expansions to the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program announced in January are now included on it's application e-portal.

The grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 30%, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated Resources Province of Manitoba

February 5, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Extends Province-wide Pandemic Restrictions Indefinitely 

The provincial health officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry has once again extended the province-wide ban on social gatherings and events, citing concerns around the growing number of COVID-19 variant cases. Unlike in previous extensions of her public health order, Henry did not provide a date on which the restrictions would be reassessed.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

February 3, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Invests $12 Million in Launch Online Grant Program

The new Launch Online Grant program is designed to help over 1,500 eligible small- and medium-sized B.C. businesses adapt to changes in consumer behaviour and pivot to market their products online.  

New Provincial Resources Province of British Columbia

February 2, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Extends State of Emergency until February 16

The BC government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency through the end of the day on February 16, 2021. The extension will allow staff to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns and COVID-19 outbreaks.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

February 2, 2021 - MANITOBA
COVID-19: Extends State of Emergency for a Period of 30 Days

The Manitoba government has extended the provincewide state of emergency to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The extension came into effect Tuesday, February 2 at 4 p.m. and will remain in place for a period of 30 days.

Issuance of Policy Province of Manitoba

February 2, 2021 - SASKATCHEWAN
COVID-19: Extends Support for Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment (SSBEP) Program

The Government of Saskatchewan has further extended the Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment (SSBEP), a program that provides financial assistance to eligible small businesses in Saskatchewan that have been ordered to temporarily close or substantially curtail operations due to a public health order in effect.

Issuance of Policy Province of Saskatchewan

January 29, 2021 - CANADA
COVID-19: Temporarily Waives One-Week Waiting Period for EI Claims

The federal government is temporarily waiving the waiting period for employment insurance (EI) claimants who establish a new claim between January 31, 2021 and September 25, 2021.

Updated Federal Resources All Provinces

January 19, 2021 - CANADA
COVID-19: Announces Launch of Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)

The federal government has announced the launch of the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP). The program will cover amounts ranging from $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs for businesses across the country, in all sectors, that have been hit hard by the pandemic. This includes restaurants, businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and those that rely on in-person service.

New Federal Resources All Provinces

January 21, 2021 - MANITOBA
COVID-19: Eases Public Health Restrictions, Allowing More Store Openings

Limited changes to the public health orders will take effect this Saturday, January 23 and last for three weeks. These modest changes will be made in efforts to balance the need to protect the health-care system while gradually restoring services and activities for Manitobans.

Issuance of Policy Province of Manitoba

January 20, 2021 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Opens Applications for Small Business Support Grant

The Ontario government has opened applications for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The grant, first announced in December, provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 to eligible small businesses who have had to restrict their operations during the pandemic.

Provincial Resources Province of Ontario

January 19, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Extends State of Emergency until February 2

The state of emergency has been extended until end of the day on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

January 19, 2021 - ALBERTA
COVID-19: Expands the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

The Alberta government is expanding the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant to allow new businesses to apply. By expanding applications to businesses that started operating between March 1 and October 31, 2020, up 5,000 more Alberta businesses will be eligible for this funding.

Updated Provincial Resources Province of Manitoba

January 13, 2021 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Announces Work from Home Requirements for Employers

Employers should be aware that, effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. (EST) per Ontario Regulation 10/21 that:

“each person responsible for a business or organization that is open shall now ensure that any person who performs work for the business or organization conducts their work remotely, unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace.”

Issuance of Policy Province of Ontario

January 11, 2021 - ALBERTA
COVID-19: Publishes Best Practices to Reduce the Risk of COVID-19 Exposure in Workplace Common Areas

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety incident monitoring shows an increase in COVID-19 exposure with the failure of controls in workplace common areas. 

This bulletin discusses the increased risk, hazard assessment and control, best practices to reduce the risk and rapid response plans for employers.

Updated Provincial Resources Province of Manitoba

January 11, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Increases COVID-19 Inspections & Consultations at Workplaces 

WorkSafeBC is conducting enhanced COVID-19 inspections and consultations at workplaces in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

January 8, 2021 - MANITOBA
COVID-19: Extends Manitoba Bridge Grant Program for Small Businesses

The Manitoba government has extended public health orders from January 8 until January 22, 2021. To reflect this extension and to ensure small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profits and charities get the support they need, the province is extending the Manitoba Bridge Grant application deadline until January 31, 2021. The government is also expanding eligibility to offer financial support and protection for more small businesses. 

Updated Provincial Resources Province of Manitoba

January 5, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Extends State of Emergency until January 19

BC has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act (EPA).

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

January 5, 2021 - BRITISH COLUMBIA
COVID-19: Extends Workplace Safety Order & Social Gathering Restrictions until February 5

The Workplace Safety order that was originally launched on December 17, has been extended until February 5, 2021. The order extended by the PHO includes a number of requirements for all employers. See requirements below.

Issuance of Policy Province of British Columbia

January 4, 2021 - MANITOBA
COVID-19: Extends State of Emergency until February 2

The Manitoba government has extended the province-wide state of emergency under the Emergency Measures Act to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Issuance of Policy Province of Manitoba

January 4, 2021 - ONTARIO
COVID-19: Announces New Measures for COVID-19 Related Workplace Safety in Toronto

Toronto Public Health (TPH) has issued new requirements for businesses and issued a letter of instruction to those Toronto businesses currently permitted to operate under the Reopening Ontario Act.

TPH must be immediately notified if two or more persons test positive for COVID-19 in a 14-day period in connection with the workplace. 

Issuance of Policy Province of Ontario