Cambridge Chamber of Commerce


2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) self-assessment

If you think you have 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment to help determine if you need to seek further care.


Ontario Together: help fight Coronavirus - Supplied Needed

 If your business or organization can provide medical products such as ventilators, swabs, masks and eye protection.


RECENT UPDATES


AS OF May 14, 2020: Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen. 


Ontario’s first stage of reopening will begin on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will include:


  • Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot.

  • Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.

  • Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.

  • Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.

  • Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.

  • Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as resuming professional services such as shifting Children’s Treatment Centres from virtual to in-person.


As soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020:


  • Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.

  • Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.

  • Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.

  • Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.


The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment for their workers.


AS OF MAY 6, 2020: Ontario Further Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction During COVID-19. Retailers to follow health and safety guidelines

The Ontario government is allowing all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, as well as in-store payment and purchases at garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores. The business owners should review the health and safety guidelines developed by the province and its health and safety association partners. More information.


AS OF MAY 4, 2020: Key Government Updates

The Ontario government is expanding testing and tracing critical to stop the spread of COVID-19. In partnership with Ontario Health, Public Health Ontario, local public health units, and hospital and community laboratories, the Ontario government has developed an integrated laboratory system. Learn more.


CERTAIN BUSINESSES PERMITTED TO REOPEN TODAY IN ONTARIO

Beginning today, the Ontario government is permitting certain businesses to open providing they comply with strict public health measures to operate safely as we enter the first stage of re-opening the province's economy. Learn more. 


AS OF April 30, 2020: Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace

Find sector-specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ontario.


AS OF April 27, 2020:  Reopening Ontario after COVID-19
On Monday, April 27, 2020 Premiere Ford announced his roadmap to re-opening Ontario following COVID-19.  The Framework for Reopening our Province details a three-stage approach where public health and safety will be a top priority while balancing the needs of businesses and individuals.


Stage One:

  • opening select workplaces that can meet current public health guidelines

  • allowing essential gatherings of a limited number of people

  • opening some outdoor spaces

  • continued protections for vulnerable populations


Stage Two:

  • opening more workplaces with significant mitigation plans

  • opening more public spaces

  • allowing some larger public gatherings

  • continued protections for vulnerable populations


Stage Three:

  • opening all workplaces responsibly

  • relaxing restrictions on public gatherings

  • continued protections for vulnerable populations


AS of April 14, 2020: On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for an additional 28 days. The extension of the provincial declaration of emergency allows Ontario to continue to enforce all current emergency orders. 


On April 9, the Ontario government launched a new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee which will focus on getting businesses up and running and people back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more. 


AS OF April 3, 2020: Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government announced it is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close.


The government is ordering all businesses not covered by the updated Emergency Order to close effective as of Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves. Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses. All supply chains necessary for the production of vital food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact.


Private sector industrial, commercial and institutional projects will be affected, while public sector infrastructure work and some residential construction will be allowed to continue. 


Projects related to the health-care sector, including any work necessary to ensure the production of critical equipment and medical devices, as well those required to maintain the operations of petrochemical plants and refineries, will be exempted from the shut down.The updated essential businesses list can be found here.






Ontario Chamber of Commerce


As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, it is critical that businesses are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and resources to respond to protect public health and ensure the continued essential operations of their organizations.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce team, in collaboration with Hicks Morley, have put together a toolkit to help support businesses be prepared for any human-resources or operational-related disruptions.


COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit for Ontario Businesses. Click here


Ontario Government Updates


The Government of Ontario has introduced the following measures to support businesses:


  • Lower electricity rates for small businesses, farms, and residents until at least May 8, and banning electricity disconnection for those that fail to pay their utility bills until July 31. Click here for more information. 

  • Tax deferrals:

    • $6 billion in provincially administered taxes deferred from April 1 to August 31

    • $1.8 billion in property taxes deferred for 90 days (including the provincial education tax) in collaboration with municipal partners 

  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premium and expense deferrals of $1.9 billion for employers for 6 months. 

  • Postponement of the 2021 property tax reassessment. 

  • Changes to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) to retroactively reduce the tax and temporarily increase the exemption to $1 million

  • A Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit to support regions lagging in employment growth. 

  • For more information about these and other provincial measures, click here. 


Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 (March 25, 2020

Stop the Spread Business Information Line Now Open at 1-888-444-3659 (March 25, 2020)

Ontario Providing Electricity Relief to Families, Small Businesses and Farms During COVID-19 (March 24, 2020)

News Release: Ontario Orders the Mandatory Closure of All Non-Essential Workplaces to Fight Spread of COVID-19 (March 23, 2020)



Official Global Travel Advisory


Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.


To limit the spread of COVID-19, many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions and other measures such as movement restrictions and quarantines. Many airlines are suspending flights. Many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving. Exit bans are becoming more frequent. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted and you may be forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected. Canadian travellers should return to Canada as soon as possible.


Contact your airline or tour operator to determine options for cancelling or postponing your trip.


If you must travel despite our advisory:

  • You may have difficulty returning or may be unable to return to Canada

  • You may have difficulty obtaining essential products and services such as food, water, medication and medical services

  • You may face strict movement restrictions and quarantines

  • You may face penalties, fines, or imprisonment if you do not follow the restrictions and orders of local authorities

  • Your insurance may not cover your travel or medical expenses.

  • We may have limited capacity to offer you consular services


You should also:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities

  • Monitor local media to stay informed of the situation and of the available transportation options to return to Canada

  • Regularly check your destination’s Travel Advice and Advisories and register with us for the latest updates

  • Get the Government of Canada’s latest updates on COVID-19

  • Check the Pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice

  • Ensure that you have sufficient finances and necessities, including medication, in case your travels are disrupted

  • Check with your travel insurance provider to know more about their policies related to COVID-19 and find out if you are covered for medical treatment if you become infected with COVID-19 as well as for extended stays outside of Canada (more about travel insurance)


This advisory overrides other risk levels on our Travel Advice and Advisories pages, with the exception of any risk levels where the advice is already for you to avoid all travel.


Financial help for Canadians affected by COVID-19 outside Canada


Canada has announced the creation of the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad to help Canadians return home. For more information on this program, visit COVID-19: Financial help for Canadians outside Canada.


Avoid all cruise ship travel due to COVID-19.