COVID-19

INFORMATION ABOUT SUPPORT DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Updated as of February 24, 2021. Note that programs and circumstances are changing regularly. Please use the links to ensure you have the most up-to-date details. Changes in the last few days are in pink to help you locate new information, and are marked with the date of the update where information is changing.
Note that information for Alberta is in the Alberta section further down. Scroll down to find a detailed list of Alberta's current prohibitions and support programs.

Find Aid Programs for you and your business: An online tool helps individuals and businesses identify programs for which you may qualify: Interactive Guide to COVID-19 Aid Programs


Government of Canada Financial support for Individuals and Communities (see below for Business; and scroll down for Alberta)

Government of Canada website listing support measures with links: COVID19 Economic Response Plan

A summary of some of the key measures:

Transition from CERB to EI or CRB

The government transitioned from CERB to EI as of September 27. These measures will be in place for one year. See below for information on transitioning to EI.

If you have trouble accessing the new programs, you may e-mail the Problem Resolution Program by clicking this link: 

For those who do not qualify for EI (e.g. self employed, gig or contract workers, etc.) there are three new programs:

1. The new Canada Recovery Benefit is for workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI and cannot resume work; it is worth $500 per week for up to 38 weeks (up from 26 weeks, announced Feb 19). You will need to re-apply every two weeks, and can claim up to a total of 38 weeks between Sept 27, 2020 and Sept 25, 2021. You must have experienced a 50% loss of your usual income. Get more information here.

  • For those who don’t qualify for EI (ex: self-employed, gig worker);
    - Are 15 years old and up;
    - Have stopped working due to COVID-19 and are available and looking for work; or are working and have had a reduction in their employment/self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19;- - Had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or 2020;
    - Have not quit their job voluntarily.
  • Note that these benefits are taxable on your 2020 taxes. Tax of $100 per two week period will be deducted at source (that is, deducted from the amount you actually receive), so you will receive $900 for a two-week benefit. Please remain aware of the possibility that you will owe money on your 2020 taxes if your overall 2020 income recovers.

The portal to apply for this program opened on October 12. Use the same portal you used for CERB - your CRA online account, or your Service Canada online account.

  • January 22: CRA appears to have modified its position on the treatment of grants (usually for artists) to be eligible for CERB received in 2020 or current CRB. Grants are taxable but CRA was saying that money did not qualify to meet the $5,000 income threshold. Some artists are reporting that CRA is now allowing grant money to be considered eligible income.

2. The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit provides compensation for workers who are ill or who must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19. Get more information here.

Provides $500/week, up to 4 weeks (increased from 2 weeks on Feb 19). Benefit is $450 after taxes are withheld, and you must reapply for each week.
- For workers unable to work due to illness and/or required to self-isolate;
- Are 15 years old and up;
- Are employed or self-employed at time of application;
- Earned at least 5,000 in 2019 or 2020;
- Need to have missed 60% of scheduled work in a week to claim

The portal for this program opened on October 5. Use your CRA or Service Canada portal.

January 5, 2020: The Prime Minister indicated that persons undertaking non-essential travel, and needing to quarantine upon return to Canada, would not be eligible for the CRSB for the period of their quarantine, because their travel was voluntary. On January 12 he indicated that legislation would be introduced when Parliament resumes on January 25 to fix this loophole. In the meantime, applicants will be asked if their request for quarantine benefits is due to international travel. If it is, their application will be delayed until the legislation is passed, and will then be denied.


3. The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit is for workers who are unable to work because they are caring for a child, dependent or family member because schools or daycares are closed due to COVID-19. The benefit is $500 per week ($450 after $50 in taxes is withheld). You may receive benefits for a total of 38 weeks (up from 26 weeks on Feb 19) (do not have to be consecutive) between Sept 27, 2020 and Sept 25, 2021. Get more information here.

- Must be employed or self-employed on the day immediately preceding the period for which the application is made;
- Have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020;
- Have been unable to work for at least 50% of their normally scheduled work within a given week because of one of the following conditions:

o Must take care of a child who is under 12 years of age on the first day of the period for which the benefit is claimed because their school or daycare is closed or operating under an alternative schedule for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
o Cannot attend school or daycare under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high risk if they contract COVID-19;
o Because the caregiver who usually provides care is not available for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
o Must provide care to a family member with a disability or a dependent, because
- their day program or care facility is closed or operating under an alternative schedule for reasons related to COVID-19;
- cannot attend their day program or care facility under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high risk if they contract COVID-19; or
- because the caregiver who usually provides care is not available for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
o Must not be in receipt of paid leave from an employer in respect of the same week; and
o Is not in receipt of the CERB, the EI Emergency Response Benefit (ERB), the Canada Recovery Benefit, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or any EI benefits or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits in respect of the same week.

The portal for this program opened on October 5. Use your CRA or Service Canada portal.

These three new programs are expected to cost $22 billion and the expansion of EI benefits is projected to cost $7 billion, bringing the total cost to $37 billion, including the CERB extension. The government will also freeze the EI premium rates for two years.

There is further information here: recovery benefits

Employment Insurance

  • Please note CERB and EI have been blended and reconfigured effective September 27.
  • To find out if you qualify to receive EI after the end of your CERB benefits, visit: Transitioning to EI.
  • There is a link at that site to apply to transition to EI. If you were receiving CERB through the CRA portal, you will need to switch to the Service Canada portal.
  • You may qualify to transition to EI if 
    • were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks (an extension may be available if you were on CERB due to lack of work)
    • have not quit your job voluntarily;
    • are ready, willing and capable of working each day (for EI regular benefits)
    • are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (for EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)
  • If you are eligible for EI benefits, you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits.
  • Period in which you may receive benefits was increased to 50 weeks from 26 weeks on Feb 19.
  • Please take note that these benefits (as was the case with CERB) will be taxable when you file your 2020 taxes, and you may owe a portion of your benefits. Some tax will be deducted at source (that is, deducted from the amount you receive).

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • CERB has now ended and recipients will be transitioned to EI (see above) or else must apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit (see above).
  • Effective December 2, no further retroactive applications for CERB are being accepted.
  • For more information, visit Canada Recovery Benefit Info. There is a link to apply for the new benefits or transition to EI
  • Recipients are reminded that the CERB benefit is taxable on your 2020 income taxes (although if your income for 2020 is very low, there may be little tax payable).  Please remember to set aside some funds to pay taxes next spring. Tax was NOT deducted at source for CERB benefits.
  • Some 222,000 Canadians received double payments (e.g. both CERB and EI for the same period, or 2 CERB payments for the same period, or a CERB payment for a period in which you unexpectedly got more work than you anticipated). You can reimburse the government for over-payment(s) on the same website where you applied for the payment. You are advised to do so. CRA will find double benefit payments or payments that overlap with work income when they compare your benefit records to your employment records during next year's tax season.
  • DECEMBER 15: The government has sent 441,000 letters to Canadians who claimed CERB who the government now claims were ineligible because they received incorrect information from the CRA regarding their previous year's income. Eligible applicants must show $5,000 in income from 2019. For self employed people, CRA initially said (on their website and in telephone inquiries) that the $5,000 was GROSS income; they later changed the eligibility to NET income, and are now trying to collect from those who followed their initial advice. The Conservative Party is working on this matter on the grounds that if the government gave erroneous advice, it is not the taxpayer who is responsible for that.
  • January 12: CRA is currently saying that no repayments must be made at this time, and it is looking into how to resolve this misunderstanding. However, on January 14, Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said the CRA is NOT considering forgiving these amounts it has deemed repayable, and that taxes will be owing on amounts received even though those amounts will need to be repaid. If amounts cannot be repaid, or taxes owing cannot be paid, recipients should contact CRA to arrange repayment plans.

2020 Taxes

  • Benefits received to support Canadians during COVID are taxable on your 2020 taxes.
  • Please use this link for more information on what slips you will receive, how to report your benefit income, and what to do if you encounter a problem.

Vaccinations

  • Canada has begun to receive a small number of vaccines targeted to highly vulnerable populations (front line workers, long term care residents).
  • The Prime Minister clarified that the vaccines will be free for all Canadians.
  • On November 27, the Prime Minister said he hoped that by September 2021, more than half of Canadians would have had access to a vaccination.
  • He also announced that Major General Danny Fortin will be heading up logistics and operations at a National Operations Centre attached to Public Health Canada.

Rapid Testing

  • Alberta is beginning a pilot project using rapid testing in targeted locations (e.g. long term care homes, homeless shelters). Please scroll down to the Alberta section for details.

Child Care

  • November 30: The Economic Update promised a one-time increase to the Canada Child Benefit of up to $1200 for 2021
  • It also promised funding for the creation of a Federal Secretariat on Early Learning and Childcare, to consider child care on the Quebec model, but not funding at this time to implement a child care program.

Long Term Care

  • November 30: The Economic Update promised $1 Billion for a Safe Long Term Care Fund. There were few details, but it is understood the money will go to provinces who agree to a number of federal terms and conditions.

Support for Disabled Persons (June 5)

Support of a special one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1, 2020, as follows:

  • $600 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate.  
  • $300 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension.
  • $100 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

Combined with the special payments of $300 for Canadians who are eligible for the OAS pension and the additional $200 for those eligible for the GIS, all seniors with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate will receive a total of $600 in special payments. People who are eligible for this special payment will receive it automatically.

Critics note that the payment will be made only to persons already receiving the disability tax credit, which is only about 40% of disabled Canadians.

July 17: The program was expanded from those receiving the disability tax credit to also include those receiving the CPP disability payments or supports from Veterans' Affairs.

July 21: The legislation enabling this payment passed the House of Commons on July 21 and the Senate on July 27. The government has not said when it expects payments to arrive.

October 30: The government confirmed that payments will begin being sent on October 30 to those who were deemed eligible at the end of September. Additional payments may arrive in January for those deemed eligible by the end of November; and in spring 2021 for those deemed eligible by the end of February.

People with disabilities are also at higher risk of job loss during economic downturns. To help Canadians with disabilities get and maintain good jobs so they can continue to support themselves and their families, the government will:

  • Create a National Workplace Accessibility Stream through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. A new investment of $15 million in 2020-21 will provide community organizations with resources to improve workplace accessibility and access to jobs in response to COVID-19, including by helping employers set up accessible and effective work-from-home arrangements. This support will also cover expanding accessible online training opportunities and helping connect Canadians with disabilities working from home with employers.
  • Invest $1.18 million in five new projects across the country through the Accessible Technology Program. With this funding, organizations will develop dynamic and affordable technology, such as accessible payment terminals for retailers and tools to make communication easier for Canadians with disabilities in the digital economy.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

  • This program has now concluded. There is no opportunity for retroactive applications.

Canada Student Service Grant

  • This program did not proceed.

Canada Summer Jobs Program/Internships

  • The 2021 Canada Summer Jobs program launched on December 21. 120,000 jobs will be funded, both full and part time, between April 26, 2021 and February 26, 2022. Employers may receive up to 75% of the provincial minimum wage; not-for-profits may receive up to 100%. The portal for employer applications closes on January 29, 2021. 
  • For student researchers and graduate students, $291 million will extend scholarships, fellowships and grants. Depending on funding, the extension will be three or four months.
  • June 25: $40 million to create 5,000 "Mitacs" internships for post-secondary students.  Mitacs is an NGO that builds partnerships between universities and industry. Usually, Mitacs caters to Masters or PhD research students, but with this funding, they'll expand their internship opportunities to undergraduate students and to students in professional programs like law, medicine, or business.
  • A summary of student support jobs funding, with links to the programs, can be found here: Student Jobs Funding

Canada Student Loan Payments

  • The deferral of Canada Student Loan payments ended at the end of September. Payments must now resume.
  • November 30: Interest will not be charged on Student Loans or Apprentice Loans in 2021

Support for Indigenous Communities

  • $305 million is allocated for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
  • May 21: additional $75 million in new funding for organizations that address the critical needs of the over one million Indigenous people living in urban centres and off reserve.
  • This financial aid will allow community organizations to combat food insecurity, support vulnerable seniors, help young people at risk, provide mental health services and prevent family violence.
  • May 29: Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller announced another $650 million to help Indigenous communities cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Of this new funding, $285 will go to support rapid public health responses in communities when faced with an outbreak of the virus with an additional $270 million to the on-reserve income assistance program.
  • At the same time, to address increased incidents of domestic violence against Indigenous women, Miller announced Ottawa will spend $44.8 million over five years to build 10 shelters in First Nations communities and two in the territories to help women and children fleeing violence.

Support for people experiencing homelessness (through Reaching Home)

  • $157.5 million is allocated to the Reaching Home initiative which can be used for a range of needs such as purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.

  • October 28: the government announced a billion dollars to be allocated to major cities (Calgary gets $24.6 million; Edmonton gets $17 million) primarily to purchase and/or renovate available buildings to be used as affordable housing, or by application by smaller municipalities, First Nations, or non-profit groups for specific projects. The government expects 3,000 units to be made available.

Support for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres, including on reserve

  • $50 million is allocated to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities.

Support for Children

  • $7.5 million for Kids Help Phone to deal with increased demand for its 24/7 online, phone and text counselling service

Support for Seniors

  • $9 million to the United Way to distribute to local organizations through the New Horizons for Seniors Program that provides support to seniors such as the delivery of groceries, medications or other needed items; or a reach out to assist seniors to connect with community support agencies.
  • May 12: the government announced a one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the OAS, and an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the GIS. On July 6, the Minister responsible for seniors confirmed the payments would be sent the week of July 6.
  • To see the announcement: Aid to Seniors
  • An additional allocation of $20 million to the New Horizons for Seniors Program.
  • While these modest amounts will be helpful, Conservatives would also like to:
    • give Canadians penalty-free access to their savings by a special one-time tax-free withdrawal from their RRSPs;
    • waive all mandatory RRIF withdrawals for 2020 (the government has currently reduced the required withdrawal amount for 2020 by 25%)

Support for Food Banks

  • The government has announced $100 million to aid Food Banks in purchasing and distributing food. Announcement here.
  • October 9: The government added another $100 million in Food Bank assistance.

Lower Registered Retirement Income Fund Minimum Withdrawal Amounts

  • The required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) is reduced by 25% for 2020 to respond to volatile investment markets.
  • You do not need to apply; simply withdraw less if you wish and report the lower amount on your 2020 taxes.
  • Unfortunately, if you have already withdrawn your 2020 minimum at the full amount, you are not able to re-deposit the 25% excess.

Tax Deadline Extension has now Expired.

Canada Revenue Agency deferred its filing and payment due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals and certain trusts to September 30. Note that you must file your tax return and, if payment is required, make that payment by Wednesday September 30. Interest and penalties will start to accrue on October 1.

  • If you expect to qualify for the GST rebate or Child Benefit, you should file your tax return even if you do not owe money, to ensure you receive those benefits. Even if you currently receive those benefits, those payments could stop if CRA does not have a 2019 tax filing by September.
  • More information: Department of Finance-Tax Filing Flexibility
  • The CRA has also temporarily suspended tax audits for small and medium sized businesses, and suspended ongoing audit interactions with taxpayers

Banks

  • Most mortgage and personal loan deferrals have now expired. However, check with your own bank to see what they are offering and whether you can arrange a payment plan.

Other Measures of Interest

  • The federal government will provide $4 Billion in a joint provincial-federal initiative to top up the wages of front-line workers. Information from early June suggests that the increased wages have not yet been received by the workers.
  • Canada's Chief Public Health Officer now advises that home-made masks may be useful when in situations where physical distancing is difficult (e.g. public transit, grocery shopping). Do not use medical grade masks - they are required by front line workers. But scarves and home-made masks may be useful in protecting others if you are infected but have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, do not go outside your home - self-isolate even from others who live in the same home.
  • Information from the Alberta government on how to wear and handle a face mask:How to wear and care for a face mask
  • How to make your own face-mask: Make a cloth face covering at home
  • $1.1 billion for a national medical and research strategy with three pillars: research on vaccines and other treatments, supports for clinical trials, and expanding national testing and modeling.
  • National parks re-opened on June 1st with daytime only access to facilities including trails, day-use areas, green spaces and recreational boating. As of June 22, campgrounds will begin a phased re-opening.
  • Banff re-opened to visitors on June 1st. 
  • Service Canada offices have closed to protect workers and the public. To access Service Canada, please go online at Service Canada or call 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232). July 7: a plan is underway to this week open five offices per province for limited in-person services.
  • May 16: $100 million to the Canadian Red Cross
  • May 29: Transport Minister Marc Garneau said passenger ships with overnight accommodations for more than 100 passengers will not be able to operate in Canadian waters until at least October 31.
  • June 5: Federal government will allocate $14 Billion to the provinces to fund measures needed to help restart the economy although the money has "strings" attached and some provinces say that will make it hard to use the money for local priorities.
  • On July 16 the Prime Minister said the amount would be $19 Billion, to be used for testing and contact tracing, PPE, and support for the vulnerable including long term care and nursing homes, homelessness, substance abuse and mental health. The funds are also to help municipalities with their COVID related expenses, including transit; and are to assist with day care and sick leave requirements.
  • July 8: The government presented a "snapshot" of COVID spending showing an anticipated 2020-21 deficit of $343 Billion, and an accumulated debt of over $1 Trillion by the end of the fiscal year.
  • July 31: The government announced $58.6 million to protect migrant farm workers from COVID-19 and to address outbreaks on farms, and also vowed to review the Temporary Foreign Worker program. The money will be put toward increasing inspections on farms, assessment teams, creating a liaison officer position to work with consulates from countries who supply temporary foreign workers to Canada and housing.
  • August 14: The government announced that asylum seekers working in specific jobs in the health-care sector would be eligible for permanent residency without first having to wait for their asylum claims to be accepted, as is typically the process. However, asylum seekers and their supporters say the GC's plan excludes thousands of workers without permanent status in Canada. Refugee claimants are among those working in Quebec's long term care system.
  • August 27: The government allocated $2 Billion to the provinces to help with school reopenings including purchase of PPE and other accommodations; $262 Million is allocated to Alberta.

 

 

Canadians Abroad and Returning Travelers

While abroad, you may have come in contact with the novel coronavirus. All returning travelers must self-isolate for 14 days. This is now the law under the Quarantine Act. There are significant penalties if you do not comply. Visit the webpage pertaining to returning travellers and quarantine restrictions here: Returning to Canada. Note that travellers returning to Alberta must also submit to Alberta's requirements (see below) which are similar to Canada's. Alberta offers an optional streamlined testing process to reduce quarantine time if you arrive at Calgary International or Coutts land crossing. See details in the entry dated October 22 below.

February 22: New requirements come into effect today for travellers arriving by air. In addition to the PCR test taken at the point of origin 72 hours prior to boarding the aircraft, travellers will receive a PCR test upon arrival and must quarantine for up to three days in an approved hotel while awaiting results. Assuming a negative test, the traveller may then proceed home (or to a connecting flight within Canada) to finish self-quarantine according to an approved plan filed on the ArriveCan app. See here for full details and list of approved hotels.

February 15: Effective today, non-essential travellers crossing at land borders must show a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours, and must take another (at the land crossing if they are available, which is expected to be the 16 busiest crossings, or later if necessary with the requirement to report the results).  Non-essential land Travellers must quarantine for 14 days, but there is no requirement for a hotel stay while waiting for the PCR test results. 93% of persons crossing at a land border are considered essential, typically truckers and other supply chain workers, or persons living on one side of the border but needing to cross for essential work or supplies. However, in cases that don't fit neatly into a definition, border crossing officials have considerable discretion in deciding what is essential.

February 14: The Minister of Public Safety said that the government is looking into testing essential cross-border travellers, but no details are yet available.

February 12: The government has released a few new details on the mandatory hotel stay for returning travellers. It will take effect Monday February 22. Vaccinated people are not exempt. You will have a limited choice of hotels within a 10 km range of the airport (options here) and you must book one of the hotels before landing. Reports are that the line for booking has very long waits, so give yourself plenty of time to book. You may leave before 3 days to continue your quarantine at home (or catch your connecting flight) if your test results come back negative before then. It is believed you will pay the hotel directly (with additional charges and fees tacked on for testing, security, extra cleaning and administration) and you may be charged a lesser amount if your stay is less than 3 days. The total cost will also be affected by your choice of hotel and additional services (e.g. meals, services such as laundry if utilized) and people are reporting that many hotels are charging less than the $2,000 predicted. Private security is being hired to enforce your home quarantine.

You will need a total of 3 PCR tests - one 72 hours before your scheduled departure time; one upon arrival in Canada; and a third from a kit to be taken during your home-quarantine. There may be some limited exemptions, particularly for essential cross-border workers and those living in border towns who must regularly cross the border for work or supplies; Conservatives are pressing for exemptions for compassionate reasons such as medical procedures or urgent family matters. The government has announced that persons travelling for urgent medical needs will be exempt if they can present a letter from their Canadian doctor attesting that the treatment is necessary and urgent, AND a letter from the physician who treated the patient in the foreign country, also attesting the treatment was necessary and urgent.

January 29: The government announced new travel restrictions including: a suspension of all flights by major Canadian airlines to all Caribbean destinations and Mexico starting January 31 and extending to April 30, only allowing international flights to land in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, a mandatory PCR test upon arrival, and a mandatory quarantine in an approved hotel for 3 days while awaiting test results, at your own expense (at least $2,000 because, in addition to room and meals, travellers will be billed for the extra security and other arrangements at the approved quarantine hotel). If a traveller tests negative they are able to quarantine at home (with an approved quarantine plan and increased surveillance, monitoring and enforcement) for the remainder of the 14 days, under strict rules including an additional PCR test on Day 10. If a traveller tests positive they must quarantine in a federal facility. It is not clear what those facilities will be, or at whose cost.

These new measures still require travelers to obtain a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to boarding the flight in the foreign country - that requirement has not been waived in light of the additional PCR test upon arrival in Canada. The requirement to show a negative PCR test 72 hours before arriving in Canada will come into effect on February 15.

January 6: The travel ban from the UK has expired, but note the requirement for a negative PCR test within 72 hours of boarding (next items).

December 30: The government announced that Canadians returning home from abroad effective January 7 must have a negative PCR test (not a Rapid Test) taken in the country they are visiting, the sample taken no longer than 3 days prior to boarding the aircraft. This requirement does not apply to persons crossing the border by land/sea. There are few details available, especially for questions about how Canadians can access a PCR test in countries where access is not readily available, the circumstances in which airline employees abroad will be expected to refuse boarding to passengers lacking appropriate documentation, and what documentation will acceptable, especially from countries where such documentation does not meet Canadian standards or is not available in English or French. The policy indicates that laboratories conducting the test must be government approved, but does not offer a list of such laboratories abroad nor instructions about what to do if such a laboratory cannot be located. The phrasing of the information suggests that the test must be performed 72 hours prior to the scheduled departure time, which implies that a delayed departure (or delays en route) will not cause the test to expire, but the wording is not completely clear.

Information released by the government can be found here. 

If a Canadian returns home without documentary evidence of a negative test within 72 hours, the traveler will be required to spend 14 days in a government quarantine facility. No information has been provided about those facilities or how the costs will be borne.

This new requirement does not negate any other requirements currently in place, including the requirement for a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period, even if you have the negative PCR test in hand. The government says that the inability to obtain a timely PCR test will not qualify the traveller for Government of Canada loans to travelers or consular financial assistance; nor can Canadian Embassies/Consulates assist in obtaining the PCR test.

The government has still not released a list of approved labs in other countries. For the US, this link takes you to government public health websites for each state. You may have to dig to find it, but most state sites list facilities offering COVID testing.

Conservative MPs would prefer that people be tested upon arrival in Canada, as per the pilot project currently underway at Calgary airport and Coutts border crossing. At a minimum, the government needs to release the list of approved testing labs in other countries; and clarify what happens in the event of a flight delay. Airlines are also asking for explicit instruction on how check-in clerks can verify that a lab test document meets the criteria.

December 24: Travel from UK and South Africa

  • Alberta is asking any traveller who has arrived from (or recently been in) the UK or from South Africa since December 7 - whether or not they have symptoms - to be immediately tested for COVID-19 and quarantine for 14 days regardless of whether they receive a negative result.
  • January 27: Arriving passengers from the UK, South Africa and Brazil are no longer eligible to participate in the Border Pilot Project. They must quarantine for 14 days.

November 23: The Minister of International Affairs made clear that Canada will not be repatriating Canadians who are stranded abroad, and reiterated that Canadians should not be travelling internationally, and if they must do so, should arrange adequate travel and health insurance, and consider the state of affairs in the destination country. Canada will not do another round of repatriation flights.

October 22: Easing Quarantine for Canadians Returning to Calgary YYC or via Coutts land border

February 12: This pilot project at the airport was discontinued on February 22 when the mandatory 3-day hotel quarantine program comes into effect (see above). 

Ban on non-essential visitors to Canada

The ban on foreign (non-essential) travelers continues. This applies to nationals of all countries - no countries are exempted. Note below the provisions for family reunification of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

  • February 20, 2021: the ban on non-essential foreign travellers to Canada was extended to March 21, 2021.

Expectations for returning travellers arriving in Canada include:

  • You must have an approved quarantine plan at the land or air border. It will be evaluated by border officials for adequacy. For example, your plan cannot include living with elderly or vulnerable persons. You must have a defined destination where you can quarantine. If you do not present an adequate plan, the government will arrange for you to be quarantined in a local hotel for 14 days.
  • If you have an approved plan, proceed directly from your point of entry to your home. Do not stop for groceries, pick up the dog at the kennel, stop at the bank, or run other errands.
  • Do not use public transportation. If you do not have a private vehicle, border officials will arrange safe transportation.
  • If you are continuing on to another destination (e.g. land in Calgary but have a connection to Kelowna) you must quarantine yourself for 14 days at the point of landing before continuing your journey. Border officials have arranged for accommodation where this is required (such as airport hotels).
  • Stay home from work and school for 14 days, and for 10 additional days if symptoms develop.
  • Arrange to have supplies such as groceries and medicines dropped off at your door. 
  • Especially avoid elderly people and anyone with compromised immune systems or chronic conditions;
  • Keep any unavoidable interactions with other people brief, maintaining at least two metres’ distance from them and wear a mask.
  • If you are in mandatory self-isolation (includes returning Canadians, anyone with symptoms, anyone close to a person who is sick) you may no longer leave your property. You may not leave the property even for neighbourhood walks; if you live in an apartment/highrise, you may not leave your unit and may not use the elevator, stairwells or common areas.
  • To further protect those around you, wash your hands often and cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.

If you start having symptoms of COVID-19, isolate yourself from others as quickly as possible. First visit the Alberta COVID19 webpage to do an online self-assessment. That assessment will advise if you should call 811 for a telephone consultation and possible referral for a COVID19 test. The 811 line may be busy - try calling at off peak hours (the line is open 24/7) but DO NOT CALL 911 as an alternative. 911 lines need to stay available for people with life-threatening emergencies.

Canada-US Border 

  • Access across the Canada-US border is restricted to necessary travel only, such as that required to move goods across the border.
  • February 20: the closure was extended to March 21, 2021.
  • Persons entering Canada from the US at a land border must have a negative PCR test taken in the US within 72 hours of their crossing; and will be given a second kit to self-test and report the results on ArriveCan. They must also file an appropriate self-quarantine plan on ArriveCan and be prepared for monitored and checking in provisions.
  • Conservatives have called for clearer guidance on what constitutes "essential travel" as decisions by border officials appear to be highly arbitrary, causing some people to be turned back who expected to be admitted.
  • The government has loosened restrictions on first year US students planning to come to Canada to study. An update posted July 24 says a student coming from the US may no longer need a study permit that was issued on or before March 18 (the day border restrictions were announced). As well, Citizenship, Refugees and Immigration Canada now says border officers will accept a "port of entry letter of introduction''that shows the student was approved for a study permit, in lieu of a permit approved before March 18.

Family Reunification (June 8)

  • A survey suggests that decisions at borders are being made in a highly arbitrary manner at the discretion of the border officials, with insufficient guidance on how to make the determination. Conservatives have called on the government to provide clear and predictable guidance to border officials so that citizens know what to expect and whether they will be allowed to cross the border. On June 8, the government provided some of that guidance as it pertains to family reunification. 
  • June 8: Prime Minister said that effective midnight June 9, they are prepared to make an exemption for the immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to come to Canada from the US
  • “Immediate family members” is defined as spouses, common-law partners, dependent children and their children, parents and legal guardians. Note that some common law partners who are not citizens of Canada have reported trouble at the border. Bring documentation showing, for example, co-habitation (same address on documents for both persons).
  • Persons arriving in Canada remain subject to a 14-day quarantine (see above for quarantine requirements) and must attest they intend to remain in Canada at least 15 days. Those arriving in Alberta will be subject to Alberta's screening process (see below)
  • Not eligible are relatives of temporary residents of Canada, such as those on student or work visas.
  • The measure is intended to reunite families that were caught by the border closing on March 20. It is not intended to facilitate social gatherings or attendance at personal events; it is not to allow people to "come and go" between the countries.
  • Persons requiring them must still present the appropriate visa or electronic travel authorization.
  • September 18: Conservatives have asked the government to extend compassionate measures for people who have been separated for a long period of time but do not fall within the narrow definition of "family", such as the not-yet-married (fiances), LGBTQ partners, families in process of adopting children, and common law couples (the rules have not been consistent). 
  • October 2: The government announced some loosening of the definition of "family" to allow for more members of a family to reunite, and compassionate visits to relatives who are seriously ill or at risk of dying; and for overseas university students in some situations. These changes are expected to take effect October 8. For more information click here.

Returning to Alberta

  • The Alberta Government has established checkpoints at the Calgary and Edmonton airports, and at the Coutts land border crossing (which handles 90% of land border traffic).
  • Arriving persons must undergo a temperature check and complete an isolation questionnaire showing that they have a credible plan for a 14-day quarantine, including a safe place to self-isolate and plans for obtaining food and medicines without leaving the property.
  • Note new provisions at top of this section: Returning Canadians, permanent residents and foreign nationals with permission to enter Canada, and displaying no symptoms, may shorten their quarantine time by voluntarily taking a COVID test upon arrival. When the test comes back negative, they may break quarantine with a promise to take a second test on Day Six or Day Seven. See above for detail.

Calgary International Airport

  • June 17: Masks for passengers and employees are now mandatory at the airport and on all flights.
  • January 19, 2021: Access to the Calgary International Airport is now restricted to only passengers and employees. Some exemptions are in place for people requiring an aide to assist their mobility, minors travelling alone who must be accompanied by an adult, and persons staying in the adjacent hotel. All persons who are greeting arriving passengers, or dropping off departing passengers, must do so from outside the building. 

Passport Services

  • July 15: the backlog of passport applications is now being addressed and many passports have been sent out.
  • If you have proof of travel within 30 days and require a passport, you may now request an in-person interview at Service Canada to expedite your passport.
  • For valid reasons to travel urgently and how to apply, go to:COVID-19 passport services

Financial Assistance for Canadians Abroad

In light of the multiple measures implemented by governments throughout the world to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Government of Canada advises Canadians to avoid non-essential travel until further notice.

To help Canadians abroad return home or shelter in place, the Government of Canada has created a special financial assistance program, the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad. With this program, Canadians abroad directly impacted by COVID-19 will have the option of applying for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to help secure their timely return to Canada and/or to temporarily cover their life-sustaining needs while they work toward their return. On December 31, the government indicated that few Canadians are likely to qualify for financial assistance at this point, as it is considered that people have now had plenty of time to make arrangements to return to Canada. The loan is not available to people whose return to Canada is delayed due to new requirements to obtain a negative PCR test abroad before boarding a return flight to Canada.

No Canadian exhibiting symptoms of COVID19 will be permitted to board a flight.

The Government of Canada encourages all Canadians abroad to register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to get the latest updates on the situation at their destination.

Government of Canada Financial Support for Businesses

For a recap of business measures, link here: Business Supports

A summary of some of the key measures:

Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

This program replaces the former CECRA program with several revisions. It is retroactive to September 27, 2020 and available until June 2021.

  • If revenue has declined by 70%+, you may apply for 65% of rent or mortgage interest payments;
  • If revenue has declined by less than 70% there is “a gradually decreasing level of support”.
  • Businesses forced to temporarily shut down by mandatory orders will qualify for up to 90% of rent or mortgage interest payments.
  • Tenants will apply directly, without needing to go through their landlord.
  • The program applies to businesses, charities and non-profits.
  • The program as described today is valid until December 19, 2020; the government may make further revisions for the subsequent period through to June 2021

The government's announcement is here. 

November 23: The portal to apply is now open here.
While this is good news, there are several questions:
1. Conservatives and business groups have said for five months that the design of the previous program (CECRA) was flawed. Why did it take five months to hear the message?
2. CECRA expired in September. The Liberals prorogued Parliament for six weeks to "plan ahead", yet didn't announce revisions before the old program ended, leaving many businesses in planning limbo. It took until Nov 20 to get the appropriate legislation in place.
3. This doesn't retroactively help businesses that didn't qualify for CECRA because their landlords didn't qualify or wouldn't participate. Those businesses may be competing directly against businesses that did qualify because they had landlords who cooperated. The government created an uneven playing field for five months depending on who your landlord was: those businesses are starting from behind today.

 

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

This program expired on September 27 and is replaced by the CERS (see above). 

 

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

  • October 9: CEBA is expanded by adding another $20,000 to the original $40,000 loan cap for a total potential loan of $60,000 to businesses that are still being impacted by COVID-19
  • Half of the additional $20,000 (that is, $10,000) is eligible to be forgiven if the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022
  • This is in addition to $10,000 forgivable of the original $40,000, for a total forgivable amount of $20,000 on a loan of $60,000
  • The application deadline is extended to December 31, 2020.
  • December 4: applications are now open for the second $20,000 loans
  • The government says they are working on an adjustment to make the program available to small companies that do not use a business bank account (a measure the Conservatives asked for months ago) but no details or confirmation are currently available.
  • This measure will allow banks to give up to $60,000 in government-backed loans, with no interest for a year, and the possibility that up to $20,000 will be forgiven.
  • Up to $20,000 will be forgiven if companies are able to repay their loan by December 31, 2022
  • Companies must show they had between $20,000 and $1.5 million in payroll costs in 2019 (required range was previously $50,000 to $1 million - broadened on April 16);
  • June 26: Companies now also qualify if payroll was below $20,000 (typically because they compensate workers with contract payments or dividends, or are sole proprietors).
  • Companies must attest that they will use the money for non-deferrable expenses such as rent/lease/mortgage payments, salaries, utilities, property tax, insurance or debt payments and will have to upload documentation to demonstrate those expenses.
  • The following information is from the Royal Bank with respect to how they will handle the loans. Other banks may or may not use the same process but it should be similar.
    • Until Dec 31, 2020, RBC will treat this as a revolving line of credit for $40,000
    • After Dec 31, 2020, RBC will convert any remaining amount to a non-revolving 5-year term loan maturing Dec 31, 2025, at which point the balance must be paid in full
    • No interest applies until January 1, 2023
    • Starting January 1, 2023, interest will accrue at 5% per annum, payable monthly on the last day of each month
    • If you pay two-thirds of the term loan before December 31, 2022, the remaining balance of the term loan will be forgiven. To illustrate: if your balance is $60,000 on January 1, 2021, and you repay $40,000 before December 31, 2022, then the remaining $20,000 is forgiven
    • If you do not pay two-thirds by December 31, 2022, then the entire loan and all accrued and unpaid interest will be due and payable by December 31, 2025.
  • Applications opened April 9 and are extended to December 31, 2020; you will need to have on-line business banking set up with your bank.
  • Credit unions are now also enabled to offer these loans to their clients.
  • The government is still considering eligibility for businesses that operate through a personal chequing account rather than a business account, but at this time, they remain ineligible.

Applicants apply online through their bank and will need:

• a business operating account at a participating financial institution (that is, the business has its own account, and is not operating through the owner's personal account)
• a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 T1 or T2 tax return showing corporate revenues for that year.
• information attesting to your eligible non-deferrable expenses for 2020. Expenses could include costs such as rent, payroll, property taxes, utilities, debt services costs and insurance; and information about any other COVID-19 financial support from governments. 
Expenses and other relief funding will be subject to verification and audit.

  • Unlike earlier phases of the program, the Export Development Corp (which is administering the program) will have to review your application and documents and attest to your eligibility BEFORE your bank can release the funds.

 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

  • November 30: The Economic Update said that CEWS will be increased to 75% from 65%. This will be effective in Period 11 which started December 19. See the website to calculate your eligibility and to apply for retroactive payments at the previous rates. The 75% rate is guaranteed until mid-March at which time the government may choose to change it.
  • More information at: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
  • Employers may apply retroactively for Periods 1-4. Period 5 applications accepted as of August 17. You apply through your "My Business Account" on the CRA website.
  • A calculator has been posted on the CRA and the above-noted web site to determine how much you can apply for. Access the calculator through the website above.
  • July 17: New flexibility has been introduced, although the rules and formulas are very complex; small businesses may need professional help to sort out whether they qualify and if so, for how much:
    • Businesses must show a revenue decline, but it no longer must be 30%
    • Subsidies will be related to the amount of revenue decline
    • The program has been extended to November 21 with the option to extend it to December 31
    • There is a possible 25% increase in subsidy for businesses suffering 50% or more revenue decline (that is, a total subsidy of up to 85% representing $960/week);
    • Changes are effective July 5; no business currently receiving CEWS will see any subsidy decline until the end of August. After that, subsidies may decline according to a complex formula if revenue is recovering.
  • Eligible employers may receive a subsidy equal to 65% of "pre-crisis" wages (up to 85% if your revenue has declined 50% or more) to encourage them to keep their employees. Pre-crisis remuneration is the average weekly remuneration paid between January 1 and March 15, excluding any seven-day periods in respect of which the employee received no remuneration (so if you hired someone on February 1, you would not have to count the zero wages paid for January).  Persons who are remunerated with dividends do not qualify. Non-arms length employees (e.g. family members) do qualify so long as they were receiving remuneration prior to the crisis - you can't add them to the payroll in March (or raise their salary) just to claim the subsidy.
  • Particularly to aid start ups and new businesses that cannot do a comparison with 2019, it is now an option for all companies to compare with the average of January and February 2020, and only a 15% decline in March is required to qualify. A 30% decline will be needed for subsequent months (April, May). Choose carefully which method you are going to use, as you cannot change the period for comparison after applying.
  • The subsidy is intended to respond to the COVID-19 situation, but you are not required to prove that your loss of revenue is due to COVID-19.
  • The employer can now choose whether to use accrual accounting or cash-basis accounting to determine revenues. This measure can help those whose revenue line may not show a decrease, but you aren’t getting paid by your customers. Cash-basis accounting means you record the revenue when cash is received, and not when invoices are sent. Once again, once you have made a decision you can not flip back the following month.
  • Charities and non-profits will work with the government to establish an appropriate definition of "revenue" in their circumstances, and have the option to include or exclude previous government funding.
  • There is no limit to the number of employees - big and small all qualify - as do both corporations/businesses and not-for-profits/charities
  • The 65% subsidy applies on a salary of up to $58,700, which translates to a subsidy of up to $733 per week. Employers are encouraged to top up the remaining amount if they can.
  • The benefit is back-dated to March 15, and will apply until December 19 with an extension to June 2021 with the possibility of changes effective December 19
  • If an employee is paid for the week, but does not work (i.e. you put them on paid leave during the crisis), then you can get the 75% wage subsidy, plus you can recover 100% of employer contributions to CPP and EI. This is not capped based on 75% of pre-crisis remuneration – it is ALL employer amounts.  You make the source deductions and remit the employer portion as normal, and will then claim the employer portion back with the rest of the 75%.
  • This does not replace the previously announced 10% subsidy. That is, if you don't qualify for 75%, you may qualify for 10%:
    • 10% wage subsidy, up to $1,375/employee for 15 weeks, with a maximum per company of $25,000, provided you are a Canadian private company (with some possible exceptions). See the link above for more detail.
    • It is expected that if you apply for both, the amount of the 75% subsidy may be reduced to reflect amounts received from the 10% program.
  • Note that there are penalties for abuse - repayment of up to 225% of the fraudulent claim plus prison time if the offense warrants.
  • Each business will need to designate a single person authorized to attest on behalf of the company, who is also authorized to financially bind the company. If your company by-laws require more than one person for this role, you may need to adjust that in advance so you are ready when applications open.
  • Call Centres
    • If businesses have questions about the CEWS that aren’t specific to a person’s particular situation, like eligibility and how to apply, we encourage them to call CRA’s general information line at 1-833-966-2099 as wait times are shorter. This line cannot look up taxpayer information (e.g., business’ payroll accounts, etc.)
    • For specific information such as My Business Account access, payment requirements, or GST and corporate income tax filing information, they can call the CRA’s Business Enquiries line at 1-800-959-5525.
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • FAQs are intended to provide more in-depth technical information on the most commonly anticipated technical questions from businesses and tax professionals. These will be updated periodically as new questions arise. Link:CEWS Frequently Asked Questions

 

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) (May 11)

  • See announcement here: LEEFF Program for large businesses
  • May 20: the program is now open for applications. See the fact sheet here: https://www.cdev.gc.ca/leeff-factsheet/
  • Open to large for-profit businesses for the next 12 months – with the exception of the financial sector – as well as certain not-for-profit businesses, such as airports, with annual revenues generally in the order of $300 million or higher. The money is intended to maintain employees, not bail out other costs.
  • To qualify, businesses must be seeking financing of $60 million or more (there is no maximum) and have significant operations or workforce in Canada
  • Unsecured loans will accrue interest of 5% in the first year, 8% in year two, and increasing by 2% per year thereafter.
  • Companies must demonstrate how they will preserve employment and maintain investment activities.
  • Recipients will need to commit to respect collective bargaining agreements and protect workers’ pensions.
  • The LEEFF program will require strict limits to dividends, share buy-backs, and executive pay. No executive will be permitted to receive more than $1 million in annual compensation until the loan is repaid.
  • Each package will be negotiated individually. The government is reserving the right to take shares in the company as part of the package totalling 15% of the principal amount.
  • An assessment may be made of its employment, tax, and economic activity in Canada, as well as its international organizational structure and financing arrangements. The program will not be available to companies that have been convicted of tax evasion.
  • Recipient companies will be required to publish annual climate-related disclosure reports, including how their future operations will support environmental sustainability and national climate goals.
  • As of June 16, not a single application to LEEFF has been received. Some analysts speculate that it was deliberately designed to be unattractive to businesses so that the government would appear to be offering relief with little risk of having to dispense funds. The very high interest rates and many strings attached are cited as reasons businesses are looking elsewhere for strategies to survive the pandemic.
  • As of September 16, there are still no applications that have been approved and no funds distributed. It is clear this program is not working. Many cite the unusually high interest rates as a deterrent.
  • UPDATE: Nov 24 - two loans have now been made, one to a casino and one to a coal company. The Globe and Mail is reporting that $4.6 Million was spent on consultants to set up this program which is clearly not of any benefit to most businesses.

Targeted Business Supports

  • November 30: The Economic Update promised support for arts ($182 million next year), air sector ($540 million next year), and credit availability for the tourism sector. We have no details yet about these programs. Some of these businesses may qualify for HASCAP (next item).

HASCAP

The government will introduce HASCAP on February 1 for the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) to provide loans of between $25,000 and $1 million to heavily impacted business. These loans are for small and medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more as a result of COVID-19. The interest rate is 4% and loans are repayable over 10 years with a possible postponement of principal payments for the first 12 months. The program is open until June 30, 2021. Apply through your financial institution. More info at the link above.

Support from BDC and EDC:

  • On March 13, 2020 the federal government established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to support financing in the private sector through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). On March 27, the government announced that an additional $12.5 billion would be made available to Canada's Crown lending agencies, on top of the $10 billion previously announced.
  • 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.

    If you have specific questions about applying for funding, BDC can be reached at the toll-free number: 1-877-232-2269 Monday to Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). They also have an online assessment tool.
  • May 11: expansion of the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), put in place to keep small businesses solvent, to mid-sized companies with a greater need for capital. Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada will work with private sector lenders to free up access to capital in the tens of millions for Canadian companies in every industry and in all regions across Canada. 
  • June 10: banks report that only a small number of businesses have tried to take advantage of these programs and less than 1% of the allotted funds have been accessed.
  • Sept 1: BCAP has been extended to June 2021.

PPE Supply Hub

  • The government has created a web page to assist businesses in sourcing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment):PPE Supply Hub

Regional Relief and Recovery Funds

  • Funds have been allocated to the Regional Development agencies and are now available for application
  • For Western Canada, visit the Western Economic Diversification site for a guide to who is eligible: WEDC programs and eligibility
  • You are not eligible if you have received a CEBA loan, are a sole proprietor, or are in an area served by the Community Futures program.

Work Sharing

  • The maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program is extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.
  • The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

Surplus Food Rescue Program

  • June 15: The Prime Minister announced the Surplus Food Rescue Program to help get products that farmers and fishers can't sell to communities that need it, including remote northern communities.
  • We are waiting for information on how food producers and communities can apply.

Loan Guarantees for SMEs

  • Export Development Canada is working with financial institutions so that they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.
  • Contact your financial institution to see if this is a fit for you.

Co-Lending for SMEs

  • The Co-Lending Program will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
  • Through the Co-Lending Program, eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.
  • Contact your financial institution to see if this is a fit for you.

Sales Tax and Import Duties

  • The government will allow all businesses, including self employed individuals, to defer payment of sales tax (GST, HST) and import duties until June to improve cash flow
  • This applies to remittances that would be due in March, April and May.
  • No application is required - simply defer your payment

Income Tax Deferral

  • Note that the Tax Deferral Period has now ended.
  • All businesses may defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020.
  • This relief would applies 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. 
  • More information: Department of Finance-Tax Filing Flexibility

 CFIB Supporting Businesses

  • CFIB is offering advice and assistance to businesses navigating all of this. CFIB has opened their Helpline to all business owners including non-CFIB members for advice on managing COVID-19 situations in the workplace.
  • To talk to an expert, please call them at 1-888-234-2232.

Canada’s Six Biggest Banks Help Customers Impacted by COVID-19

  • Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank 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 closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19.
  • This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.
  • Individual Canadians or business owners facing hardship should contact their bank directly to discuss options that could be available to them.
  • More information: Support from Big Six Banks

Support for Oil & Gas Industry (April 17)

  • $1.7 billion for an orphan well clean-up program
  • Just under $1 billion to establish a methane emission reduction fund
  • The Business Development Bank and Export Development Corporation will work with mid-size oil and gas companies to extend credit
  • Details on these programs remain obscure. Conservative MPs have been advised by constituents that these programs are not yet dispensing funds (June 3)

Support for Farmers and Processors

  • The government is supporting Farm Credit Canada by allowing an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors.
  • This will offer increased flexibility to farmers who face cashflow issues and to processors who are impacted by lost sales, helping them remain financially strong
  • On May 5 the government announced $252 million in funding for the agriculture sector, including
    • $77.5 million for food processors
    • $125 million for AgriRecovery
    • $50 million for a government purchase program to buy surplus food and distribute them to those in need
    • An intention to increase the Canadian Dairy Commission's borrowing limit by $200 million
  • The Canadian Federation of Agriculture said, however, that $2.6 billion was required to keep the sector healthy. The government said more funding might come later. Canadians have reason to be concerned about the viability of the sector that puts food on our table, particularly now, during the producing season.
  • May 26: government will fund 700 youth jobs in the agri-food sector. This is similar to a program that the Conservatives had recommended, to match summer students to jobs in this sector, thus solving two problems at once.

Support for Cultural, Sport and Heritage Organizations

  • On May 8, Minister Steven Guilbeault provided more detail on the previously announced $500M in pandemic relief to cultural, heritage and sport organizations.
  • Roughly $198M of the funds will be used to top up arts and culture programs; $116M will go towards the television and film industry through the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada; $53M is earmarked for the heritage sector via the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program; $55M will go to the Canada Council for the Arts, the sports sector will receive $72M and $3.5M will go to the Digital Citizen Initiative.

Other Measures for Business

  • $306 million to Indigenous businesses provided through aboriginal financial institutions and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association. It will allow Indigenous businesses to access short-term interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions
  • The Insured Mortgage Purchase Program, will purchase up to $150 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This will provide long-term stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders, help facilitate continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses, and add liquidity to Canada’s mortgage market.
  • The Bank of Canada has lowered interest rates, intervened to support key financial markets and provided liquidity support for financial institutions.
  • The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25% of risk-weighted assets to allow Canada’s large banks to inject $300 billion of additional lending into the economy.

Government of Alberta Support and COVID-19 Measures

If you need more information or assistance with these measures, please contact your provincial MLA. If you need help identifying your MLA or obtaining his/her contact information, use this site: Who is my MLA?

Consult the Alberta COVID-19 webpage for more information about COVID-19 and for links with more information about all of these measures: Coronavirus Info for Albertans

February 19: Vaccine Rollout

The Alberta Government is expanding the number of people eligible for vaccination. The rollout schedule is here.

If you were born in 1946 or earlier, or meet certain other criteria due to being an indigenous Canadian age 65+, or being certain categories of health care worker, you are now eligible to receive a vaccine. For more information and to book online, go here. At this link, you can also provide your email to get a notification when you become eligible. If you are eligible now, you can also book by telephone at HealthLink (811). There may be delays due to volume.

FEBRUARY 8

The Alberta government eased some restrictions effective Monday February 8:

Indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performance

  • K-12 schools and post-secondary children’s sport and performance activities, such as physical education classes, can now use off-site facilities to support curriculum-related educational activities.
  • Lessons, practices and conditioning activities, but not games, may occur for indoor team-based minor sports/activities and school athletics.
    • All participants must be 18 years old or younger, excluding coaches or trainers.
    • Maximum of 10 individuals, including all coaches, trainers and participants.
    • Participants must stay physically distanced from each other at all times.

Indoor fitness

  • One-on-one individual and one-on-one household training is now permitted for indoor fitness activities (e.g., fitness in dance studios, training figure skating on ice, one-on-one lessons). 
    • People in one-on-one sessions cannot interact with others and there must be a minimum of three metres between sessions in the same facility.
    • Trainers must be professional, certified and/or paid trainers who are providing active instruction and correction. Passive supervision of a physical activity is not considered training.
    • Sessions have to be scheduled or by appointment.
    • No drop-in for individuals or groups is allowed.
    • No sports games, competitions, team practice, league play or group exercise of any kind is currently permitted.
    • Trainers should remain masked during the session; clients are not required to wear a mask while exercising.
  • More than one trainer and client ‘pair’ are allowed into the facility, studio, rink, court, pool, ice surface, etc., as long as:
    • Each trainer and client stays three metres away from all other trainers and clients at all times, including in entryways and exits.
    • Each trainer only interacts with their assigned client, and each client only interacts with their assigned trainer.
    • No interaction between clients or between trainers is allowed.
    • No ‘cycling through’ multiple trainers, as in circuit training.

Restaurants, cafés and pubs

  • Restaurants, cafés and pubs can now reopen for dine-in services.
    • Establishments must collect the contact information of one person from the dining party.
    • Up to a maximum of six people per table is allowed; individuals must be from the same household or the two close contacts for people living alone.
    • Liquor service ends at 10 p.m.
    • In-person dining must close by 11 p.m.
    • Entertainment is not permitted (e.g., no VLTs, pool tables, live music).

FEBRUARY 3

For people co-habiting with patients who tested positive for one of the COVID variants (e.g. the UK variant, the South Africa variant), the period of quarantine for household members has been extended to 24 days from 14 days. This is due to the rapid infection rate of the variants, and the fact that community transmission has now been identified.

JANUARY 29

The Government of Alberta introduced a staged resumption of some activities, based on the number of people being treated for COVID in hospital:

Early steps: In effect Jan. 18

  • Outdoor social gatherings allowed up to 10 people.
  • Personal and wellness services opened for appointments only.
  • Funeral service attendance was raised to 20 people.
  • In-person classes resumed for K-12 students (Jan. 11).

Step 1:  Hospitalization benchmark – 600: Planned for February 8

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performance (school-related only)
    • Indoor personal fitness, one-on-one and by appointment only
    • Restaurants, cafes, and pubs

Step 2:  Hospitalization benchmark – 450: Possible for March 1st (to be announced Feb 26)

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Retail
    • Community halls, hotels, banquet halls and conference centres
    • Further easing of some restrictions eased in Step 1

Step 3: Hospitalization benchmark – 300: Possible for March 22 pending progress

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Places of worship
    • Adult team sports
    • Museums, art galleries, zoos and interpretive centres
    • Indoor seated events, including movie theatres and auditoriums
    • Casinos, racing centres and bingo halls
    • Libraries
    • Further easing of some restrictions eased in Steps 1 and 2

Step 4: Hospitalization benchmark – 150

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Indoor entertainment centres and play centres
    • Tradeshows, conferences and exhibiting events
    • Performance activities (e.g., singing, dancing, wind instruments)
    • Outdoor sporting events (e.g., rodeo)
    • Wedding ceremonies and receptions
    • Funeral receptions
    • Workplaces – lifting work-from-home measures
    • Amusement parks
    • Indoor concerts and sporting events
    • Festivals, including arts and cultural festivals (indoor and outdoor)
    • Day camps and overnight camps
    • Further easing of some restrictions eased in Steps 1-3

JANUARY 28

The Alberta Government has allocated $17 million to support the performing arts, sports and rodeo sector. Eligible organizations may apply for up to 25% of operational expenses based on 2018 and 2019 financials. For more information go here.

DECEMBER 17: RAPID TESTING EXPANDS

  • The government will expand Rapid Testing to homeless shelters, long term care facilities, outbreak sites and remote communities effective December 18.
  • Since Dec 7, more than 1,000 people have taken Rapid Tests at assessment centres, homeless shelters and hospitals, finding 76 cases within hours.
  • 25 rural hospitals will now be included in the program; locations where samples must otherwise be transported to labs for analysis.
  • Rapid Testing is also being piloted at Calgary Airport and the Coutts border crossing, to reduce time required for self-isolation

DECEMBER 15: SUPPORTS FOR HIGH RISK COMMUNITIES

  • Alberta is launching a comprehensive outreach program to reach communities with high levels of COVID-19 spread in Edmonton and Calgary.
  • COVID-19 Care Teams will be providing information about how to access supports people need to keep themselves and their families safe.
  • People in these areas who test positive for COVID-19 will be eligible for a free-of-charge hotel room stay of 14 days, complete with culturally appropriate food and temporary financial aid in the amount of $625 when they have completed their self-isolation.

DECEMBER 8: NEW RESTRICTIONS EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 8

January 7: The Premier announced these restrictions would continue until at least January 21, but in-class school will resume as planned on January 11. Restrictions have since been extended indefinitely, but school remains open.

Indoor and Outdoor Social Gatherings

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Dec. 8

All indoor and outdoor social gatherings – public and private – are prohibited

  • Close contacts are limited to household members only
  • People who live alone can have up to 2 close contacts:
    • must be the same two contacts throughout the duration of the restriction
    • if the close contacts do not live alone, visits cannot be held at their home
    • single parents who only live with their children under 18 are permitted to have up to 2 close contacts

This does not apply to:

  • co-parenting arrangements
  • service visits from caregivers, health or childcare providers
  • home maintenance and repairs
  • mutual support group meetings

Out-of-town Travel and Visitors

Non-essential travel

  • All out-of-town travel is discouraged at this time.

Returning home

  • If the individual belongs to the household (e.g. a child returning home from post-secondary), then they would be permitted to return to the home.
  • If you do not have a household in Alberta, you must not stay in other people’s homes while these restrictions are in place.  

Visitors

  • Out-of-town visitors cannot stay in other people's homes while these restrictions are in place, regardless of where they are coming from.

Weddings and Funerals

No change – Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Nov. 24

  • Maximum of 10 people for wedding ceremonies or funeral services and must be held in a public place
    • This includes the officiant, bride/groom and witnesses
    • This does not include staff or organizers who are not considered an invited guest
    • This applies to any facility, including places of worship and funeral homes.
    • This includes services held indoors or outdoors, seated or non-seated.
  • Receptions are not permitted

Places of Worship

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Dec. 13

Faith services are limited to 15% of fire code occupancy for in-person attendance:

  • Services must be held at their normal location
  • Physical distancing between households must be maintained
  • Mask use is mandatory

Alternatively:

  • Virtual or online services are recommended
  • Drive-in services where people do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance are allowed

Additional safety measures:

  • In-person faith group meetings and other religious gatherings are:
    • not permitted in private homes while these measures are in effect
    • permitted when conducted at a place of worship as long as physical distancing and public health measures are followed
  • Faith leaders and other speakers can remove their masks while speaking if there is a distance of 2 metres. The mask must be put on again once finished speaking.
  • Group performance activities, such as choir singing and playing music, are permitted if they are normal worship practices and not for the purpose of entertainment. Performers must wear masks at all times.

Mandatory Mask Requirements

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Dec. 8

Masks are mandatory in all:

  • indoor public places
  • places of worship
  • indoor workplaces and facilities outside the home, except:
    • when working alone in an office or a safely distanced cubicle or a barrier is in place
    • rental accommodations used solely for the purposes of a private residence
    • farm operations (exempt)

This workplace requirement:

  • applies to all employees, customers, visitors, delivery personnel and contractors
  • includes any location where employees are present in-person
  • includes all workplace locations where masks won’t pose a safety risk
  • does not change current student mask requirements in schools

Working from Home

Mandatory - Provincewide - Effective Dec. 13

Working from home is mandatory unless the employer requires a physical presence for operational effectiveness.

K-12 Schools

No change  – Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Starting Nov. 30

Grades 7-12 students

  • Move to at-home learning Nov. 30 to Jan. 8, except during winter break*
  • Resume in-person classes Jan. 11
  • Diploma exams are optional for rest of the school year. Students and families can choose to write an exam or receive an exemption for the January, April, June and August 2021 exams.

Grades K-6 students, including Early Childhood Services

  • Continue in-person learning until their scheduled winter break (generally Dec. 18*)
  • Move to at-home learning after the winter break until Jan. 8
  • Resume in-person classes Jan. 11

*Schools have different winter break schedules, check with your school for details.

Exemption is available for students with disabilities or in outreach programs, learn more atK-12 learning during COVID-19.

Child Care

No change to current measures

Licensed daycare, out-of-school and preschool program can continue operating as long as providers follow all public health orders and guidance for child care programs.​

Retail

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Dec. 13

Retail services must reduce customer capacity to 15% of fire code occupancy or a minimum of 5 customers:

  • Curbside pick up, delivery and online services are encouraged
  • Shop alone if possible or only with the people you live with
  • Shopping mall:
    • capacity limits of 15% include common areas and individual stores
    • food courts open for grab and go only

Retail services include:

  • Retail businesses operating within a shopping centre or mall
  • Shopping centres and malls
  • Pet supply stores
  • Grocery stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Clothing stores
  • Computer and technology stores
  • Hardware
  • Automotive
  • Sporting goods
  • Liquor and cannabis
  • Gift shops
  • Markets

Restaurants, Bars, Pubs, Lounges, and Cafes

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Dec. 13

  • All restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes are closed to in-person service.
  • Take out, curbside pickup and delivery services are allowed.

Entertainment and Recreation Facilities

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Dec. 13

All entertainment businesses and entities must close, including:

  • Casinos, bingo halls, gaming centres
  • Racing centres, horse tracks, raceways
  • Bowling alleys, pool halls
  • Legions and private clubs (nightclubs must remain closed)
  • Art galleries, libraries and museums
  • Science and interpretive centres
  • Amusement and water parks
  • Children’s play centres and indoor playgrounds
  • Theatres, auditoria and concert halls
  • Banquet halls, conference centres and trade shows

All indoor recreation facilities must close, including:

  • Gyms and studios
  • Fitness and recreation centres
  • Spas, pools, indoor rinks and arenas
  • Day and overnight camps
  • Community halls and centres

Outdoor recreation is permitted, but facilities with indoor spaces except for washrooms will be closed.

Personal and Wellness Services

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Dec. 13

All personal and wellness services must close.

Personal services include:

  • esthetics, manicure, pedicure, body waxing, make-up
  • body, nose and ear piercing, and tattoos
  • artificial tanning and spray tanning
  • facial, eyebrow and eyelash treatments
  • cosmetic skin and body treatments
  • laser hair and tattoo removal
  • hairstyling and barbering

Wellness services include:

  • massage therapy
  • floatation tanks
  • reflexology
  • colonic irrigation

Health, Social, and Professional Services

Mandatory - Provincewide - Effective Dec. 13

Regulated health services can remain open by appointment only as long as public health orders and sector guidance is followed. Appointments should be limited to one-on-one services.

  • physicians, dentists
  • physical therapists
  • optometrists
  • hearing aid practitioners
  • acupuncturists
  • naturopaths

Professional services can remain open by appointment only:

  • lawyers
  • mediators
  • accountants
  • photographers

Social services can remain open for in-person services including:

  • social, protective or emergency services
  • shelters for vulnerable persons
  • not-for-profit community kitchens, religious kitchens and soup kitchens

Home-based businesses should follow the restrictions for the type of service they provide.

Hotels, Motels, Hunting and Fishing Lodges

Mandatory - Provincewide - Effective Dec. 13

Hotels, motels, hunting and fishing lodges may remain open but must follow restrictions:

  • No spa, pool or gym access
  • No in-person dining (room service only)

Performance Activities

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Dec. 13 (Nov. 27 restrictions remain in effect until Dec. 13)

Performance activities include dancing, singing, theatre and playing wind instruments.

Outdoor settings

  • Rehearsals and practices are permitted up to a maximum of 10 participants. Physical distancing and other relevant guidelines must be followed.
  • Performances with audiences are not permitted.

Indoor settings

  • No group performances in indoor settings are permitted.
  • Rehearsals, practices and lessons involving 2 or more are not permitted.

Lessons

  • 1-to-1 in-person lessons are permitted.
  • Virtual lessons are strongly encouraged where possible.

School settings

  • Phys Ed., band and drama classes are permitted to continue
  • Assemblies, performances, concerts, and inter-school games, activities and competitions are not permitted.

Places of worship

  • Indoor group performance activities conducted in a place of worship, such as choir singing and playing music, are permitted provided these are normal activities conducted as part of worship practices and not for the purpose of entertainment.

Sports and Physical Activities

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Effective Dec. 13 (Nov. 27 restrictions remain in effect until Dec. 13)

Group physical activities, including team sports, fitness classes and training sessions, are prohibited or restricted across Alberta.

  • Outdoor group physical activity, including team sports, must be limited to 10 people or fewer.
    • members of different households must maintain 2 metre distancing at all times
  • Indoor group physical activities are prohibited unless
    • the group only involves members of the same household.
    • the activity involves students at a school or post-secondary institution as part of an education program
    • the activity involves students at a post-secondary institution
  • One-to-one indoor training, such as training with a fitness trainer or coach, is not permitted.

Enforcement

If you violate a public health order, you may be subject to a $1,000 fine. Additionally, you can be prosecuted for up to $100,000 for a first offense.

If you are concerned someone is not following public health orders, you can:

  • remind them that not following orders is against the law and puts people at risk
  • submit a complaint to AHS public health inspectors online or call 1-833-415-9179
  • complaints that require an immediate response can also be reported to your local police force through their administrative phone line

DECEMBER 8: EXPANDED SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant (SMERG): This grant, originally set at $5,000, is quadrupled to provide up to $20,000 to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or reduce operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 30% due to public health orders.

DECEMBER 2: VACCINATIONS

  • Alberta will begin vaccinating Albertans on December 16, 2020
  • Those vaccinated in Phase 1 include long-term care and designated supported living residents and staff in those facilities, on-reserve First Nations individuals over age 65, seniors aged 75 and older, and health-care workers most needed to ensure workforce capacity and who are most likely to transmit COVID-19 to those at greatest risk.
  • Alberta expects to vaccinate approximately 10% of the population in Phase I, or about 435,000 people

NOVEMBER 27: RAPID TESTING PILOT PROJECT

  • Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Alberta Precision Laboratories have been evaluating two types of COVID-19 rapid testing kits, approved by Health Canada and provided to provinces and territories by the federal government.
  • The two point-of-care rapid testing systems will be rolled out in clinical pilots at several sites throughout the province over the coming weeks.
  • PanBio rapid antigen tests will be used at one assessment centre in Calgary and one assessment centre in Edmonton. IDNow tests will be used at the COVID-19 assessment centres in Slave Lake and St. Paul, and at the hospital lab in Bonnyville.
  • The tests will be used on patients who are within the first seven days of expressing symptoms, allowing health officials to quickly identify positive cases at testing sites, reducing the need for patient samples to be transported to centralized public laboratories for processing.
  • The pilot will use more than 100,000 tests. Results will determine if the kits can be used widely across Alberta.

NOVEMBER 24: NEW RESTRICTIONS

The Government of Alberta announced significant new restrictions on Nov 24. This information, and details on the areas with enhanced status, are available athttps://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx​. The enhanced (purple) area includes all of Calgary and surrounding communities.

Note that on December 8, these measures were strengthened and extended. See section above.

A state of emergency has been declared in Alberta again. The previous state of emergency was rescinded on June 15, 2020.

You can download the Alberta Emergency Alerts app on your mobile phone to receive updates on these restrictions.

The "enhanced (purple) areas" covers a significant portion of the province and is available athttps://www.alberta.ca/maps/covid-19-status-map.htm​.

Gatherings

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – effective Nov. 24

  • No indoor social gatherings are permitted in any setting (private homes, public spaces or workplaces)
    • Indoor close contacts must be limited to people in the same household
    • People who live alone can have up to the same 2 non-household contacts for the duration of the restriction
    • Work and support group meetings are not social gatherings, but attendance should be limited and public health measures followed
    • This does not apply to service visits from caregivers, health or child care providers
  • Outdoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people and must not have an indoor component
    • Backyard gatherings that require movement in/out of homes are not permitted
    • Attendees should remain distanced at all times and follow public health measures
  • Festivals and events are prohibited (indoors and outdoors)

Weddings and Funerals

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – effective Nov. 24

  • Maximum of 10 people for wedding ceremonies or funeral services
    • This includes the officiant, bride/groom and witnesses
    • This does not include staff or organizers who are not considered an invited guest
    • This applies to any facility, including places of worship and funeral homes.
    • This includes services held indoors or outdoors, seated or non-seated.
  • Receptions are not permitted

Places of Worship

Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – effective Nov. 24

  • Maximum of 1/3 normal attendance for places of worship
  • Physical distancing between households must be maintained
  • Mask use is required
  • Online services are encouraged
  • In-person faith group meetings can continue but must maintain physical distancing and public health measures must be followed

Mask Requirements

Mandatory restriction – Calgary and Edmonton areas – Effective Nov. 24

  • Masks are mandatory in all indoor workplaces, except when working alone in an office or a safely distanced cubicle or an appropriate barrier is in place
    • This applies to all employees, visitors, delivery personnel and contractors
    • This includes all locations where employees are present and masks won’t pose a safety risk
    • This does not change current student mask requirements in schools

Schools

Mandatory restriction – Provincewide – Starting Nov. 30

Grades 7-12 students

  • Move to at-home learning Nov. 30 to Jan. 8, except during winter break*
  • Resume in-person classes Jan. 11
  • Diploma exams are optional for rest of the school year. Students and families can choose to write an exam or receive an exemption for the April, June and August 2021 exams.

Grades K-6 students (including Early Childhood Services)

  • Continue in-person learning to Dec. 18
  • Move to at-home learning Dec. 18 to Jan. 8, except during winter break*
  • Resume in-person classes Jan. 11

*Schools have different winter break schedules, check with your school for details.

Businesses Closed for In-Person Service

Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 27

Businesses that are closed for in-person service include:

  • Banquet halls, conference centres, trade shows, auditoria and concert venues, non-approved/licensed markets, community centres
  • Children’s play places or indoor playgrounds
  • All levels of sport (professional, semi-professional, junior, collegiate/universities and amateur). Exemptions may be considered.

Restaurants, Bars, Pubs, and Lounges Open with Restrictions

Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 27

Restaurants, bars, pubs and lounges will be open with restrictions if they follow all public health guidance in place including:

  • Maximum of 6 people from the same immediate household at a table and no movement between tables.
    • People who live alone can meet with up to 2 non-household contacts as long as they’re the same two throughout the duration of these restrictions
  • Only seated eating and drinking is permitted. No other services or entertainment will be allowed, including billiards, games or darts.
  • Liquor can be sold until 10 pm and food-serving establishments must close to in person-dining at 11 pm. Liquor sales apply to casinos, but casinos are not required to close at 11 pm.

Albertans are encouraged to use take out, delivery, drive-thru and curbside pick-up options.

Additional inspections will occur to verify that public health measures are being followed. Establishments that are non compliant may face orders and fines.

Businesses and Services Open with Restricted Capacity

Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 27

Most retail businesses may remain open with capacity limited to 25% of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.

  • Retail, including liquor and cannabis
  • Grocery stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Clothing stores
  • Computer and technology stores
  • Hardware
  • Automotive
  • Farmers markets approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  • Unlicensed outdoor seasonal markets

Some entertainment and event services may remain open with capacity limited to 25% of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.

  • Movie theatres
  • Museums and galleries
  • Libraries
  • Casinos, offering slots only. Table games must be closed at this time.
  • Indoor entertainment centres including amusement parks, water parks, bingo halls and racing centres.
  • Indoor fitness, recreation, sports and physical activity centres, including dance and yoga studios, martial arts, gymnastics and private or public swimming pools.
    • Facilities can be open for individual studio time, training or exercise only.
    • There can be no group fitness, group classes, group training, team practices or games.
    • Instructors can use facility to broadcast virtual fitness classes from, but there can be no group class.

All public health guidance and physical distancing requirements must be followed.

Albertans and businesses are encouraged to limit in-person visits and use curbside pick up, delivery and online services instead.

Businesses Open By Appointment Only

Mandatory restriction – Enhanced status (purple) areas – Effective Nov. 27

Businesses open by appointment only are not permitted to offer walk-in services. Appointments should be limited to one-on-one services.

    • Personal services such as hair salons and barbershops, esthetics, manicure, pedicure, body waxing and make-up, piercing and tattoo services,
    • Wellness services including acupuncture, massage and reflexology
    • Professional services such as lawyers, mediators, accountants and photographers
    • Private one-on-one lessons (no private group lessons permitted)
    • Hotels, motels, hunting and fishing lodges

These businesses must follow all current public health guidance for their sector and should consider virtual options where possible.

Home-based businesses should follow the restrictions for the type of service they provide.

Enforcement

If you violate a public health order, you may be subject to a $1,000 fine. Additionally, you can be prosecuted for up to $100,000 for a first offense.

If you are concerned someone is not following public health orders, you can:

  • remind them that not following orders is against the law and puts people at risk
  • submit a complaint to AHS public health inspectors online or call 1-833-415-9179
  • complaints that require an immediate response can also be reported to your local police force through their administrative phone line
  • Nov 27 Update: The government is granting certain Alberta peace officers and community peace officers temporary authority to enforce public health orders.
  • Expanding these authorities will increase the number of officers able to levy fines by about 700.

 

Testing for COVID-19

  • October 20: Asymptomatic testing is being paused to speed up results for patients with symptoms. As of October 20, pharmacies will not book new appointments for asymptomatic patients. Those with existing appointments will be honoured until Nov 4. Albertans with symptoms, or who are in close contact with an infected person or linked with an outbreak, may continue to be tested.
  • Any Albertan with symptoms, is a close contact of a confirmed case or linked to an outbreak will continue to be tested as usual.
  • Voluntary asymptomatic testing will continue to be offered for priority groups that are most at risk of spreading COVID-19 to vulnerable or at-risk populations. This includes:
    • school teachers and staff
    • residents and staff in congregate settings
    • health-care workers
    • Albertans experiencing homelessness
    • travellers who require testing prior to departure
  • For more information, visit https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-testing-in-alberta.aspx
  • A walk-in, no-appointment required, testing centre has been set up at the Richmond Road Diagnostic and Treatment Centre; 1820 Richmond Road S.W.; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A second site has been set up near the Stampede Grounds - check the website for location and hours.
  • Six appointment only sites are also open in Calgary. Book an appointment here: COVID-19 Testing Appointments
  • Testing is by throat swab with results in a few days; anyone testing positive is legally required to self-isolate for 10 days or until symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.
  • July 30: The pilot project allowing pharmacies to conduct tests on asymptomatic persons (no symptoms, no known exposure to an infected person) was successful and had been expanded to many pharmacies. Find the list of pharmacies here. Call ahead to make your appointment.
  • If you have symptoms, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please go through the website above, not to a pharmacy.
  • September 10: People being tested may now opt to receive their results by text message or automated phone call. 

Resumption of School

  • September 10: The government has created a school map which shows the incidence of COVID cases by school. Find the map here.
  • October 29: The government has eased the symptoms list that require children to isolate. Effective November 2, "runny nose" and "sore throat" are removed from the list of core symptoms requiring mandatory isolation for those under the age of 18. This includes the daily checklist used for school and child care settings
  • This change is only for those with no known exposure. If a child is a close contact or known to have been exposed in the previous 14 days and develops symptoms, testing is recommended and the child would still need to isolate.
  • Also effective Nov. 2: 
    • If a child has only one of the non-core symptoms, they should stay home and monitor for 24 hours. If the symptom is improving, they need not get a test and can return to school when feeling well enough
    • If a child has two or more symptoms, or a symptom is not getting better, testing is recommended and they should stay home until the symptoms go away or they receive a negative test and feel better
  • The COVID-19 symptoms list for anyone over the age of 18, including teachers and daycare staff, remains unchanged. Health officials will continue to monitor evidence closely. 
  • Note new restrictions effective Nov 24 (detailed above)

Border Controls for Travellers Coming from Outside Canada

  • May 20: Travellers arriving at the Calgary and Edmonton International airports from outside Canada, or at the Coutts land border crossing, will be required to pass through a provincial checkpoint where they will need to complete an Alberta isolation plan. Travellers will also undergo a thermal scan, as elevated body temperature is a potential symptom of COVID-19.
  • Travellers must detail if they have an appropriate place to isolate for the required 14 days, how they will travel to their isolation location, and their plans for getting essentials like food and medications. If required, provincial officials will help travellers access support to meet isolation requirements.
  • Government officials will follow up with travellers within three days to ensure they are following public health orders and have the information and support they need.
  • October 22: An option for returning Canadians, permanent residents and foreign nationals with approval to visit Canada is to shorten the quarantine period by taking a COVID test upon arrival. See detail above in the Travel section of this page. NOTE: This program will terminate on February 22 when new border controls come into effect requiring a 3-day stay in a hotel while awaiting results of a PCR test taken at the airport. See travel section above for more detail.
  • Any traveller coming from (or who has recently been in) the UK or South Africa, since December 7, must immediately take a COVID-19 test whether or not they display symptoms. Such travellers are not eligible for the Rapid Test Pilot Project, and must quarantine for the full 14 days.

August 15: Expiry of some regulatory and legal matters

Note that a number of temporary regulatory and legal provisions introduced 5-6 months ago in response to COVID-19 will expire in August. Some judicial matters that used temporary procedures are returning to normal, or near-normal. Please double check if you are relying on these temporary easements.

Legal requirements for physical distancing and for isolating when showing symptoms are still in place.

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

  • This grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that faced restrictions or closures from public health orders, and experienced a revenue loss of at least 30 per cent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Eligible job creators can apply for up to $20,000 through this program.
  • This relief for businesses and non-profits can be used to offset the costs they are facing as they wait to reopen their doors. This includes the costs of implementing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as physical barriers, PPE and cleaning supplies, as well as rent, employee wages, replacing inventory and more.
  • To be eligible, small- and medium-sized businesses, cooperatives and non-profits must have 500 or fewer employees.
  • Update Jan 14: This grant is expanded, effective Feb 4, to businesses that opened on or after March 1, 2020. Those new businesses will be eligible for up to $15,000.
  • Update Dec 8: This grant is expanded to $20,000 and the eligibility threshold is reduced to a 30% loss of income (rather than 40%). This is retroactive to March.
  • Update Nov 23: Small and Medium businesses may apply for a second payment under this program; and is available to businesses operating where new health restrictions – like the restrictions announced in November and on Dec 8 – have been implemented.
  • Job creators that meet the program’s eligibility criteria can apply for 15 per cent of their pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue, up to a maximum of $20,000 in funding, which can offset the costs they are facing as they relaunch their businesses. This includes the costs of implementing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as physical barriers, PPE and cleaning supplies, as well as rent, employee wages, replacing inventory and more.
  • Information here.

Free Masks for Albertans

  • August 3: the free mask program has concluded, having distributed 40 million masks.

Contact Tracing App

  • The ABTraceTogether app will enhance current manual contact tracing and capacity, and facilitate early detection to help reduce the spread of the virus and better protect Albertans. It means Albertans will be contacted more quickly if they are at risk. The app is now available from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
  • Use of the app is voluntary; users must opt in.
  • The app does not track the user’s physical location and does not use GPS. Protecting privacy is paramount; all contact data is only on the user’s phone and is deleted after 21 days.
  • The difference between the Alberta provincial app and the federal app is that the provincial app synchronizes with the provincial contact tracing system; the federal app is not a contact tracing app - it simply alerts the user who is then responsible for arranging a test, alerting their contacts and taking other required actions.

Dispensing Pharmaceuticals and Medical Visits (June 8)

  • Effective June 15, pharmacists may dispense quantities of prescription drugs in excess of the current limit of 30 days, up to 100 days.
  • Some drugs remain on a list of shortages, in which case the 30-days limit still applies. Your pharmacist can access that list.
  • Virtual meetings with physicians (e.g. telephone, video) will be able to continue after the pandemic. They have been made permanent options.

Support for Businesses Preparing to Re-open

  • The new alberta.ca/bizconnect webpage will provide business owners with information on health and safety guidelines for general workplaces and sector-specific guidelines for those able to open in stage one of relaunch to ensure businesses can reopen safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $200 million in funding will be available for eligible businesses and non-profits to access up to $5,000 to offset a portion of their relaunch costs. These funds can be used for implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, (such as physical barriers, personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies), rent, employee wages or replacement of inventory.
  • The program’s online application is expected to be available in the coming weeks. Program details, including eligibility, are being confirmed.
  • The provincial government is planning legislation during this session to ensure commercial tenants will not face rent increases or be evicted for non-payment of rent due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. More details to follow.

Access to Justice Resuming (May 20)

  • The Provincial Court of Alberta has updated its plan for the staged resumption of court operations. The changes involve family mediation; the rescheduling and adjournment of provincial tickets, bylaws and other matters; and criminal adult out-of-custody criminal trials and preliminary inquiries.
  • More information:https://albertacourts.ca/pc/resources/announcements
  • The Court of Queen’s Bench will resume Criminal Appearance Court provincewide commencing June 5. More information can be found here.
  • Allowing for remote signing and witnessing of estate and care documents through two-way video conferencing
  • July 6: in-person trials and preliminary hearings are resuming with physical distancing measures in place.

Emergency Financial Assistance

  • This program is now closed as it was a one-time bridge until federal payments began. Persons in need should apply for the CERB program (in the federal section above).

Emergency Funding for Charities and Non-profits

  • Visit Charity Emergency Funding for details on how to qualify and apply for funding to assist your clients in coping with COVID-19

Utility Payment Deferral

  • Residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments until June 18 to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.
  • Note that this program has now concluded. You can call your service provider to arrange for a further deferral if necessary. If you do not call, the balance outstanding on your utility bill will be divided into 10 equal payments, payable each month until June 2021.

Protection for renters

  • Effective March 27, tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent and/or utilities before May 1. More info at: Suspending evictions
  • Effective March 27, rents will not increase while Alberta’s state of public health emergency remains in effect.
  • Effective April 1, late fees cannot be applied to late rent payments for the next three months, even if the lease allows for late fees.
  • Effective April 1, landlords and tenants need to work together to develop payment plans while the state of public health emergency is in effect. The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) will not hear applications that could lead to eviction due to non-payment unless a reasonable attempt has been made to work out a payment plan. More info at: Rent Payment Plans
  • Landlords can still file applications and receive orders for possession if the reason for the eviction is unrelated to rent and/or utility payments (e.g. safety concerns, tenant engaging in criminal activity).

Commercial Renters

  • June 18: The Commercial Tenancies Protection Act, when passed, will protect eligible commercial tenants from having their leases terminated due to non-payment of rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and will prevent landlords from raising rent and charging late fees and penalties on missed rent.

Changes to Employment Standards

  • Employees caring for children affected by school and daycare closures or ill or self-isolated family members due to COVID-19 will have access to unpaid job-protected leave. The 90-day employment requirement is waived and leave length is flexible.
  • The maximum time for a temporary layoff is increased from 60 days to 120 days to ensure temporarily laid off employees stay attached to a job longer. This change is retroactive for any temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 that occurred on or after March 17. June 19: this is extended to 180 days.
  • Scheduling flexibility is improved by removing the 24-hour written notice requirement for shift changes, and the two weeks’ notice for changes to work schedules for those under an averaging agreement.
  • The requirement to provide the group termination notice to employees and unions when 50 or more employees are being terminated is removed.
  • The process for approvals related to modifying employment standards so employers and workers can respond quicker to changing conditions at the workplace due to the public health emergency is streamlined.
  • The changes above take effect immediately and will be in place as long as government determines it is needed and the public health emergency order remains.
  • Unpaid job-protected leave for those required to stay at home to care for children or dependents is extended to August 2021.

Day Cares Re-0pening

  • In addition to the previously eligible front-line health-care workers, critical infrastructure workers and first responders, child care is now available to anyone who works in the critical areas outlined as essential by government. A full list of those essential service positions can be found here.   As of May 5, 183 centres (4008 spaces) have opened in 29 communities. 
  • Parents who qualify for subsidy will receive it and centres will charge their typical rate, within reason. Per direction from Dr. Hinshaw, parents who are eligible should only access this child care if it is the only way they will be able to go to their work in a core service sector. Child care centres accepting children can be found here
  • On May 6, the Province announced up to $17.8 million to support the reopening of child care facilities:
    • Phase 1 - $6.7 million: Centres will immediately receive a one-time grant to cover up to 25 per cent of overhead costs like rent and utilities. This accounts for the remaining portion of expenses not covered by funding under federal programs.
    • Phase 2 - $3.2 million: Upon reopening, centres will receive a grant for cleaning and sanitation supplies to adhere to public health guidelines, as well as to assist with staff recruitment and training.
    • Phase 3 - $6.9 million: After three months of being open, centres will potentially receive a third grant to offset deferred bills and to address unforeseen operational issues. This will be based on an assessment of other federal and provincial support programs.
    • Approved family day home agencies will also be able to access funding, up to $1 million total, to support current operations and supplies and equipment to adhere to public health guidelines.]
  • Effective June 12, the number of people permitted at a facility has been increased from 10 to 30 (including staff), with proper safety measures in place.

Parents with School-Age Children (May 6)

  • A provincial education helpline is now available to parents that will address questions about managing at-home learning, and direct parents to school authorities, where applicable.
  • The intent is to provide advice to families, particularly to parents of children with disabilities, who have questions about their child’s program now that the traditional delivery process has changed.
  • The helpline is 780-422-6548 (toll-free by first dialing 310-0000) and [email protected].
  • The line operates Monday to Friday, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Student Loan Repayment Deferral:

  • Note that the Student Loan Deferral period has now expired as of September 30, 2020.
  • Alberta Student Loan repayments will be paused for 6 months, beginning March 30, 2020.
  • Interest will not accrue during this period. This mirrors the approach of the Canada Student Loans Program.
  • Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
  • Borrowers may continue making payments during this period if they choose and this will not affect their eligibility to receive the benefit.

Education property tax freeze

  • The government will immediately cancel the decision made in Budget 2020 and will freeze education property taxes at last year’s level.
  • Reversing the 3.4 per cent population and inflation adjustment will save Alberta households and businesses about $87 million in 2020-21, which means $55 million for households and $32 million for employers.
  • The government expects that Albertans and Alberta businesses will fully realize these savings and that municipal property tax levels will not be increased as a result of the lower provincial education property tax levels.

Education property tax deferral for business

  • In the next six months, $458 million in cash will remain with employers to help them pay employees and continue operations.
  • The government expects municipalities to set education property tax rates as they normally would, but defer collection. Deferred amounts will be repaid in future tax years.
  • The government encourages commercial landlords to pass on these savings to their tenants through reduced or deferred payments. This will help employers continue to manage their debts, pay their employees and stay in business.
  • Businesses capable of paying their taxes in full are strongly encouraged to do so. This will assist the province in being able to support Albertans through this pandemic.

WCB premiums deferral for private sector businesses and support for small and medium businesses

  • Private sector employers will have immediate financial relief by deferring WCB premiums until early 2021, effectively for one year.
  • Employers who have already paid their WCB premium payment for 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit.
  • For small and medium businesses, the government will cover 50 per cent of the premium when it is due.
  • Large employers will also receive a break by having their 2020 WCB premium payments deferred until 2021, at which time their premiums will be due.
  • Paying 50 per cent of small and medium private sector WCB premiums for 2020 will cost government approximately $350 million.

Support Contacts for Albertans in Distress

  • Always call 911 in an emergency.
  • Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence
    • 1-866-402-8000 (toll-free, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., 170-plus languages)
    • Online chat: aasas.ca
  • Family Violence Info Line
    • 310-1818 (24-7, 170-plus languages)
    • Online chat: alberta.ca/SafetyChat (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in English only)
  • Alberta Provincial Abuse Helpline
    • 1-855-4HELPAB (43-5722) (toll-free, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday, 170-plus languages)
  • Child Abuse Hotline
    • 1-800-387-KIDS (5437) (toll-free, 24-7)
  • Mental Health Helpline
    • 1-877-303-2642 (toll-free, 24-7)
  • Elder Abuse
  • 211 Alberta
    • Call or text 211 for further community and government supports throughout the province in multiple languages.

Mental Health Support

  • Albertans needing to talk to someone should call the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 or the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322 between 7 AM and 11 PM, seven days a week. You will be connected directly to a dedicated team of AHS addiction and mental health staff.
  • Calls placed from 11 PM to 7 AM should go to 811 (the HealthLink line)
  • The Psychology Association of Alberta is offering every Albertan up to 3 free crisis counselling sessions over the telephone or video conferencing during the COVID-19 crisis. Link here.
  • $53 million is allocated to improve access to phone and online supports with existing helplines, including the Addiction Helpline, the Mental Health Helpline, the Kids Help Phone and the Community and Social Services Helpline (Alberta 211).

Support for Long Term Care Facilities

  • Increased health-care aide staffing levels.
  • A wage top-up of an additional $2 per hour for health-care aides.
  • Up to 1,000 paid student practicum positions to fast-track certification and get more staff into our continuing care facilities.
  • In addition, $24.5 million to operators to help address immediate cost pressures due to COVID-19.
  • Effective Sept 17, continuing care facilities and hospices will have more flexibility with isolation requirements, recreation, dining and volunteers. Consult each facility for further information on that facility's requirements.

Parking Fees at AHS Facilities

  • This program to waive parking fees concluded on September 1. Regular parking fees again apply.

Registry Services - Road Tests, Renewal of Drivers' Licenses, ID Card and Vehicle Registrations

  • To help limit the number of Albertans who need to visit registry agents in person, the Government of Alberta is temporarily allowing registry agents to provide corporate registry services, personal property registry services, and select motor vehicle services by phone, secure email, fax or mail.
  • For a full list of services available through alternative delivery methods, visit alberta.ca/covid19.
  • If your driver’s licence, ID card, or vehicle registration expired or is set to expire March 17 through May 14, you have until May 15 to renew. Albertans whose documents are expiring are encouraged to connect with their local registry agent by phone and explore options to renew their documents by phone, secure email, fax or mail.
  • Alberta Transportation is developing a plan to safely resume all road tests; a limited number of road tests are now available.
  • Information on the limited road tests can be found on the COVID-19 Commercial Carrier Information website.
  • Starting June 8, more drivers seeking Class 1 to 4 licences  and health-care workers seeking Class 5 advanced licences will be able to apply for road tests at select sites across the province.
  • Updated information on road tests will be available on June 8 atwww.alberta.ca/drivers-road-test.aspx

Other Measures affecting Alberta individuals and communities

  • The Province will match donations to designated charities providing COVID-19 relief. Details and charities here.
  • $500 million in additional health care funding
  • $25 million for Adult homeless shelters; August 5: another $48 million has been allocated to supporting the homeless
  • $5 million for Women's Emergency Shelters
  • $5 million to support food banks
  • $3 million from Alberta Education for nine not-for-profit organizations to provide additional food assistance to vulnerable K-12 students and their families.
  • Alberta has introduced restrictions on people visiting hospitals, long term care homes, group homes and similar facilities. Details online here.
  • June 23: Alberta will invest $10 million in four programs to test serology, which detects COVID anti-bodies in the blood, and which would indicate if a person has been previously exposed to the virus (with or without symptoms).

Other Measures affecting Business

  • Hotels and other lodging providers can defer the payment of the Tourism Levy collected prior to March 1 until August 31. They may keep any levy collected between March 1 and December 31, 2020. This measure is valued at $16 to $27 million for the industry and is intended to aid in the recovery process. December 4: This measure has been extended to March 31, 2021
  • The collection of corporate income tax balances and installment payments is deferred until Aug. 31. This gives Alberta businesses access to about $1.5 billion in funds to help maintain operations.
  • Utility payments for residential, farm and small commercial customers can be deferred for the next 90 days to ensure no one is cut off from electricity and natural gas services during this time of crisis.
  • Government will pay the Alberta Energy Regulator industry levy for six months, saving our resource industry $113 million in cash flow
  • Extensions for oil and gas tenures will extend the term of mineral agreements expiring in 2020 by one year
  • Two-month extension of filing deadline for annual returns with Alberta Corporate Registry: value of up to $6.3 million
  • Timber dues are deferred for six months to help forestry companies continue to operate and employ Albertans (Alberta's third largest industry)

Banks and Credit Unions

  • ATB Financial customers
    • Personal and business banking customers can apply for relief such as a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit, and mortgages for up to 6 months
  • Alberta Credit Unions
    • Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions: contact your credit union directly to work out a plan for your situation
  • Big Six Banks
    • The big banks have made a commitment to work with personal and business customers on a case-by-case basis. Support could include a 6-month payment deferral on mortgages and relief on other credit products. Contact your bank directly; for more information visit: Support from Big Six Banks

City of Calgary Information

Nov 26: State of Emergency

  • The City has again declared a state of emergency. This allows - amongst other powers - city enforcement officers to ensure citizens are obeying provincial rules on social gatherings, mask wearing etc., and to issue fines for non-compliance.
  • The state of emergency provides certain emergency powers to city officials to make decisions outside normal procedures including on procurement of PPE
  • The previous state of emergency was lifted on June 12.

Mask Use Mandatory

  • July 21: City Council has made the use of masks mandatory when inside a publicly-accessible building (e.g. offices, retail, recreation) or using public transportation (including transit, cabs/Uber)
  • Policy is effective August 1
  • Masks are not required in private office spaces, private vehicles, schools
  • Exempted persons include children under 2, persons with medical condition or disability making it difficult to use a mask
  • Masks are not required for outdoor physical activity and, of course, when eating, drinking, having dental work or similar situations where a mask impedes the activity
  • Fine is $100 for not wearing a mask; $200 for businesses not displaying signage. Businesses are not expected to enforce mask wearing. Police are not expected to avidly enforce mask wearing - the intent of the policy is education and persuasion.

Playground Re-openings

  • May 25: Children's playgrounds will re-open on June 1st. Parents are advised to bring wipes if possible to ensure the equipment is cleaned before being used by your child.

Parking

  • Effective June 1, the free 30-minute parking zones will be ended; payment will again be required.

Enmax Flexibility

  • Enmax is offering the opportunity to pay by installment, extend payment due dates, and suspend any current collection action
  • Enmax commits that no electricity will be turned off during the pandemic

Tax Changes for Business

  • Any Business Improvement Area (BIA) tax penalties between April 1 and June 30 are cancelled. This means that any business that has not already paid their BIA tax has until June 30, 2020 to pay penalty free. A penalty of 7% would apply to taxes outstanding as of July 1, 2020.
  • Non-residential property owners participating on Tax installment payment plan (TIPP) will see a decrease in your April 1 installment equal to the provincial property tax portion of your tax installment. This portion has been deferred for six months.

University of Calgary and Mount Royal University

  • Mount Royal Students' Association is offering food hampers and short term loans of $300: https://www.samru.ca/
  • University of Calgary Students Union offers up to $1500 from the Hardship Fund; the Graduate Students' association is also setting up an Emergency Fund: U of C Hardship Fund

City Information

  • For more information on COVID19 impacts, such as facility closures, event cancellations, refunds for city passes, programs, rentals and booking, and city services offered online, visit: CalgaryCOVID19
  • For changes to city services including waste collection, animal services, planning department, and transit, visit:Calgary Service Changes
  • For more information for businesses, visit: Calgary Business COVID-19

 

 

Links for More Information:

Government of Canada COVID-19 Home Page

Support for Individuals

Support for Business

Advice for Travelers

Alberta COVID-19 Homepage

City of Calgary COVID-19 Homepage

How to Self-Isolate

 

Other Contact Information

Canadians abroad in need of emergency consular assistance can call Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885, or email [email protected]

Canada Public Health
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

World Health
Organization
https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

Alberta Health Services
https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/

The Facts about Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a coronavirus. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.

The Province of Alberta has added new symptoms to the list of conditions that could signal you have COVID-19:

    • Gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite
    • Loss of sense of smell or taste
    • Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus. Coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person through:
· Respiratory droplets when you cough or sneeze
· Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
· Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands

These viruses are not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water.

The best way to prevent the spread of infections is to:

· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands; avoid close contact with people who are sick;
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
· When coughing or sneezing:
· Cover you mouth and nose with your arm or tissues to reduce the spread of germs
· Immediately dispose of any tissues you have used into the garbage as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys, electronic devices and doorknobs
· Stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19—fever, cough, or difficult breathing:
· Stay home to avoid spreading it to others
· If you live with others, stay in a separate room or keep a two-meter distance
· Go online for a self-assessment, and if that assessment advises you to do so, call 811 for a further assessment and referral for a test
· If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and tell them your symptoms, but ONLY if you feel you are in a life threatening situation. Keep 911 open for real emergencies.

UPDATE: If you are in mandatory self-isolation (includes returning Canadians, anyone with symptoms, anyone close to a person who is sick) you may no longer leave your property. You may not leave the property even for neighbourhood walks; if you live in an apartment/highrise, you may not leave your unit and may not use the elevator or stairwells.

 

Vulnerable Populations and COVID-19

While diseases can make anyone sick, some Canadians are more at risk of getting an infection and developing severe complications due to their health, social and economic circumstances.

Vulnerable populations may include:

Anyone who is:
· An older adult
· At risk due to underlying medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, cancer)
· At risk due to a compromised immune system from a medical condition or treatment (e.g. chemotherapy)

Anyone who has:
· Difficulty reading, speaking, understanding or communicating
· Difficulty accessing medical care or health advice
· Difficulty doing preventive activities, like frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes
· Ongoing specialized medical care or needs specific medical supplies
· Ongoing supervision needs or support for maintaining independence
· Unstable employment or inflexible working conditions
· Social or geographic isolation, like in remote and isolated communities
· Insecure, inadequate, or nonexistent housing conditions