The Ontario government is investing $1.5 million through the new Tourism Economic Development Recovery Fund and offering promotional incentives at provincial attractions to help the province’s tourism industry and welcome back visitors after the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will support projects that develop innovative tourism products and experiences, drive private sector tourism investments, workforce development, and support tourism operators to learn more through tourism industry associations.
Use of COVID Alert is voluntary, and serves as another tool to help limit the spread of COVID-19. COVID Alert is available for free use and download from the Apple and Google Play app stores.
The COVID Alert app uses Bluetooth technology to detect when users are near each other. If a user tests positive for COVID-19, they can choose to let other users know without sharing any personal information. Ontarians who receive an exposure alert can then get tested and take action to help keep themselves, their families, and their friends from spreading COVID-19 throughout the community. To notify other people if an app user has tested positive for COVID-19, they can enter their one-time key from Ontario’s test results website (Ontario.ca/covidresults) into the app. A message will then be sent to other app users who have been within two metres of them for at least 15 minutes within the past 14 days, without sending any information that identifies the user, or the time and place of exposure.
If an app user receives a message from COVID Alert that they may have been exposed to the virus, they should follow the public health advice given on the app and get tested.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit will in the coming weeks and that the Canadian government plans to move out-of-work Canadians over to the Employment Insurance program. Canadians who don’t qualify for CERB will be able to access to a transitional, parallel benefit that is similar to EI. More details to come.
In order to keep patrons of restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments safe, the amended orders will implement the following measures: – All patrons will be required to be seated at all times, in both indoor and outdoor areas, with limited exceptions; – Bars and restaurants (and also tour boat operators) in Ontario will be required to keep client logs for a period of 30 days and to disclose the client logs to the medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request, which will support case and contact tracing. – Complementary changes are being made in respect of existing provisions relating to tour operators and tour boat operators.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health measures or restrictions can be further loosened or if they need to be tightened.
The Niagara Regions temporary face-covering by-law comes into effect today (July 31) and requires residents to wear mandatory face coverings in enclosed public places, and on Regional and Municipal transit during the COVID-19 pandemic. This by-law is to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in indoor public spaces as more businesses and services begin to reopen.
July 30, 2020
The Ontario Government announced today elementary students will be headed back to class five days a week in September while students in most high schools will be part of 15-student cohorts who will alternate in-class learning and online learning. High schools with smaller enrollment will be able to offer full-time in-class learning.
Students in Grades 4-12 will be required to wear a cloth masks while at school. Masks will be optional for younger students. Parents will have the option to send their children to in-person classes.
Niagara Region Council passes a temporary face covering by-law to require residents to wear mandatory face coverings in enclosed public places, and on Regional and Municipal transit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 20, 2020
The Ontario Government announced today seven more regions will be moving into Stage 3, including the Niagara Region. That means more businesses in St. Catharines will be allowed to safely reopen starting July 24.
As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Ontario will be increasing gathering limits, subject to physical distancing requirements, for those regions, including St. Catharines, entering the next stage to the following: – Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people – Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people
July 17, 2020
The City of St. Catharines’ mandatory mask bylaw comes into today July 17.
Businesses can download digital copies of printable signs for posting at entrances below, in addition to a mask policy they can complete and print and an operator implementation guide. Read more here: www.stcatharines.ca/masks.
July 16, 2020
The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario has opened up its latest industry survey. Make sure your voice is heard and complete the survey by July 31. Take the survey here: https://surveymonkey.com/r/LQ82NHH
The City of St. Catharines’ mandatory mask bylaw comes into effect Friday, July 17.
The Canadian – U.S. border will remain closed to unnecessary travel until Aug. 21.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has been extended to December.
July 13, 2020
The Ontario Government announced nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 of the its reopening framework with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place. The province will allow 24 public health regions to enter Stage 3 on Friday, July 17.
Niagara Region , including St. Catharines, is not among the public health unit regions moving into Stage 3 July 17. Government officials said Niagara may be allowed to enter Stage 3 as early as next week.
At the beginning of each week, the province will continue to reassess local trends in public health indicators, including rates of transmission, hospital capacity, progress on testing and contact tracing, to determine if additional public health unit regions can progress to Stage 3.
As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Ontario will be increasing gathering limits for those regions entering the next stage to the following: – Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people – Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people
Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements. Public gathering limits apply to indoor and outdoor events, such as community events or gatherings, concerts, live shows, festivals, conferences, sports and recreational fitness activities, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses. A two metre distance must still be maintained at such events.
While nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3, the following, high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, even if a region has entered Stage 3, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID‑19: – Amusement parks and water parks – Buffet-style food services – Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements – Overnight stays at camps for children – Private karaoke rooms – Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports – Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars – Table games at casinos and gaming establishments
St. Catharines City Council will consider a proposed temporary mandatory mask by-law at today’s (July 13) City Council meeting.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford will announce plans for Stage 3 of the reopening of the province today at 1 p.m.
July 9, 2020
The Ontario government, in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force that were made under s.7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 22, 2020.
The extension was made to ensure the province maintains the necessary flexibility to protect public health and safety as more businesses reopen and people go back to work.
The second phase provides support to other organizations, some of which do not normally receive funding from Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada or the Canada Media Fund. The goal is still to help maintain jobs and support business continuity for organizations whose viability has been affected.
Up to 100,000 job seekers can now take free online workplace health and safety training through Employment Ontario. There are 10 courses on offer, which include topics such as infection control, conducting health and safety incident investigations, ladder safety, slips, trips and falls prevention, and preventing workplace violence and harassment. Job seekers should contact an Employment Ontario service provider in their area to enroll.
The province will also allow restaurant and bars to serve customers in covered outdoor dining areas. Outdoor dining areas can open if they have a roof, canopy, tent, awning or other covering. At least two full sides of the outdoor dining area must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked in any way.
July 2, 2020
Mayor Walter Sendzik has requested a special meeting of City Council, scheduled to take place on Monday, July 6, at 4:30 p.m., to discuss the possibility of a temporary by-law that would require residents to wear masks, or face coverings, in inside spaces in which members of the public are within close proximity, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) has been extended by one month to cover eligible small business rents for July. In addition, to simplify the application process for all applicants, the Government of Canada is removing the requirement to claw-back insurance proceeds and provincial rent supports from the CECRA forgivable loan amount for both existing and new applicants.
We are at the ready to address the impacts of COVID-19 on community, answering your calls and emails and working with our stakeholders and partners. Supporting our local businesses has never carried more meaning and impact than it does now. If you have any questions or need our support, please contact us: