Coronavirus (COVID-19)

On this page you will find: 

NOTO would like to hear from industry about any cancellations, concerns you or your clients may have surrounding COVID-19, or any other impacts you may be noticing. We would like to stay up-to-date on all developments to keep members and Government informed.

This page will be updated regularly as the situation unfolds. *Last updated June 3, 2020.


What's New on This Page


Through consultations with all of you, as well as other Provincial and National tourism organizations, NOTO has prepared and sent a request for support for the resource-based tourism industry. To view the supports we have asked for to date, please click here

As you will note, some of these items have already been addressed as small businesses call for action. Our Governments continue to update existing supports and develop new ones on a weekly basis. We will strive to get the ear of Government to have the recommendations we have made come to fruition. NOTO will continue to take these items forward one our own as well as through our tourism partners like Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and the Canadian Federation of Outfitter Associations (CFOA).

To read NOTO's joint press release with TIAO and Indigenous Tourism Ontario,and to view our official requests to Government to support the resource-based tourism industry, please click here

 


Provincial & Federal Government News Updates


Federal:

The Canada - US border closure has been extended for another 30 days. The next review will take place on June 20th. 

The Prime Minister also announced changes to the Canada Emergency Business Account ($40,000 loan). The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll. To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be extended to August 29th which will allow more businesses to get back on their feet. The Federal Government is also proposing legislative changes which would enable support for seasonal employees and employees returning from extended leave.

The eligibility criteria for the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will also be reviewed to ensure that the program is accessible to businesses of all sizes and all industry sectors across the country. 


Provincial:

Ontario launched new initiatives to help with electricity costs. Starting June 1st, customers will be billed based on a new fixed COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour. The COVID-19 Recovery Rate will be in place until October 31, 2020. Other initiatives announced include:

  • $9 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) to support consumers struggling to pay their energy bills during the pandemic. CEAP will provide one-time payments to consumers to help pay down any electricity bill debt incurred over the COVID‑19 period. Applications will be available through local utilities in the upcoming months;
  • $8 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) to provide support to businesses struggling with bill payments as a result of the outbreak; and
  • An extension of the Ontario Energy Board's winter disconnection ban until July 31, 2020 to ensure no one is disconnected from their natural gas or electricity service during these uncertain times.

Ontario's state of emergency has been extended to June 30th. Last week, Ontario extended the emergency orders to June 9th. All emergency orders remain the same including the closure of non-essential businesses, closure of outdoor recreational amenities, restaurants open for take-out or delivery only, gathering restrictions of up to 5 individuals.

Over the weekend, Ontario announced the re-opening of camping on crown land as well back-country camping in Ontario Parks as of June 1st. The closure of all other overnight camping and some day-use activities at provincial parks and conservation reserves has been extended to June 14 and will continue to be reassessed. All buildings and facilities including campgrounds, roofed accommodations, visitor centers, park stores, playgrounds, and beaches remain closed. 

Premier Ford also announced on Friday May, 29th that the Government is looking at a regional approach to re-opening the province which will begin in Phase 2. This will give local Public Health Units more authority on implementing the emergency orders and enforcement and also allow them to select which businesses may open or close based on the COVID-19 situation in their respective areas. The Premier has made it clear that we are not entering Phase 2 as of yet.

The Premier also stated last week that seasonal vacation rentals are not to open until phase 2 of Ontario's Framework to Reopening the Province. Although we have been hearing several inconsistencies and messages from Public Health Units across the province, we encourage operators to continue to follow the Provincial Governments emergency orders until NOTO's health and safety protocols for resource-based tourism are approved by the Government. This means short term rentals are not to open unless they are providing a place for individuals to self-isolate during the emergency period and for seasonal campgrounds, only those with full season contracts who's trailers are hooked up to electricity, water, and have access to a facilities for sewage disposal may be permitted in compliance with the essential services list stipulationsIn the meantime, we encourage all tourism businesses to do is get their protocols ready. NOTO has completed a comprehensive protocol document for the Resource-Based Tourism Sector and have submitted them to the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) for vetting. We hope to share them with you all this week. We have gathered information on our COVID-19 Page that you can use as well the WSPS has developed a number of protocol documents for different sectors on their COVID-19 Hub.

  

Older announcements: 

NOTE: The Ontario and Federal Governments are regularly updating COVID-19 information, travel information, Minister statements, Government initiatives and statistics on their websites. For additional information from the Ontario or Federal Government, please click on the links below.

                                      Federal Government            Ontario Government



Government Support Announced To Date


Provincial

Federal

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit: ($2000/month for qualifying individuals until June)
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: will be extended pass the original June date to help more businesses get back on their feet. We expect to hear more on this this week.  
  • Business Credit Availability Program: making loans more accessible to businesses of all types and sizes. The Government announced that they will be changing the eligibility requirements to make this more accessible to businesses of all sizes in all sectors in the upcoming week. 
  • Canada Emergency Business Account: $40,000 loans (up to $10,000 forgivable if paid by December 2022). 
  • Regional Relief Recovery Fund: provide rural businesses in the North with access to capital through the Comminity Futures Network and FedNor, and businesses South of the Nipissing, Parry Sound and Muskoka Disctricts through FedDev.
  • GST/HST/Duty Deferrals: businesses, including self-employed individuals, can defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the GST/HST, as well as customs duty owing on their imports.



Essential Services List Updates

Ontario has revised their list of essential businesses. Some operators have expressed confusion as to what this means for camp and lodge operators across the Province. Government considers lodges and camps as Short Term Rentals and they have been deemed non-essential unless they are providing a safe place for an individual to self-isolate. Many individuals have been receiving inconsistent messaging from the business helpline as it relates to bookings made prior to April 4th. Some businesses have been told by the business helpline that they can honour bookings made prior to April 4th. NOTO contacted Doug Ford's office directly and we were told this is not the case. Lodges and camps must remain closed unless you are providing a place for an individual to self isolate during the emergency perior. 

Seasonal campgrounds and trailer parks can now prepare for the upcoming season. They can not open to the general public except for those who have paid a full season contract. For individuals who have paid a full season contract, the following applies: their trailer must be stationary, must be hooked up to water and electricity, have access to a facility for sewage disposal and act as a secondary permanent residence, much like seasonal residents who live in their cottages for most of the summer. These residents will be allowed to stay overnight in their trailers. All other facilities must remain closed as stated in the emergency order regarding the closure of outdoor recreational spaces (green spaces, parks, beaches, common areas like picnic shelters). All other public amenities such as public washrooms must also remain closed.

The declaration of the State of Emergency by the Government of Ontario needs to be revised every two weeks in order to make the decision on whether or not it will be extended for another two weeks. As a result, subsequent emergency orders, regulations and amendments issued under s.7.0.1 and 7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act are reviewed during this time. All of the emergency orders will also be reviewed during this time. We will advise you of any changes that may occur in the upcoming days! Government has made it clear that their recommendations to everyone is to avoid all non-essential travel. 

Government has implemented severe fines for any individual or business who breaks any of the emergency orders. In addition to all these restrictions, new emergency orders and restrictions may be added as the situation progresses. 


 

Borders and Travel Restrictions


Federal Border

The federal border remains closed to all non-essential travel from all countries, including the USA. The next review of this closure is set to take place on June 20th, with possibility of extension. There is no timeline as to when the Canada-USA border may re-open.  

We have been making every effort to seek clarification regarding the ability of US camp operators to cross the border to access their tourism businesses. We have been in communication with border officials and they have confirmed that a ministerial decision has been made and no work permits will be issued to foreign camp owners seeking entry to check on or open their camps. The focus at the border remains allowing the food chain to remain viable and to reduce the spread of this horrible virus. We will provide an update when these orders change.

If you are concerned about vandalism, theft, flooding etc we encourage you make arrangements with either fellow camp operators here in Ontario or perhaps your Canadian employees to check on your properties when possible. If this is not possible, we are learning about people willing to check on camps for a fee. Please contact these people directly to to learn more about their services:

Kyle Emslie, M.Sc
River Point Environmental
807-251-4333

Steve Hanson
Hanson’s Hideaway Lodge
807-484-2115

Kris Esselink
Manitou Weather Station Fishing Lodge  
1-866-561-5672

 

Other News:

Transport Canada announced new domestic transportation measures to support provincial, territorial and local efforts to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spreading from travelling within Canada.



Aviation Operations Update from Transport Canada

A new order has been initiated as of May 26th, 2020 with regards to flights.

Operators must ensure all passengers and crew members wear masks while boarding the plane, during the flight and upon exiting the plane. Very few exceptions apply (please view regulations for more details). For non-medical masks or face coverings, they need to be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material such as cotton or linen and be large enough to completely cover a person's mouth and nose without gaping and can be secured to a person's head with ties or ear loops.

Before boarding an aircraft for a domestic flight, the operator must notify every person that intends to board the flight that they may be subject to measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 taken by the provincial or territorial government at the destination for that flight.

The operator must conduct a health check of every person before the person boards an aircraft for a flight that the operator operates. This regulation states the following:

Health check

5 (1) An operator conducting a health check must ask questions of every person to verify whether they exhibit the following symptoms:

5 (2) In addition to the health check, the operator must ask every person

5 (3) The operator must advise every person not to provide answers to the health check questions and the additional questions that they know to be false or misleading.

Anyone who states that they have been exhibiting symptoms, have been refused boarding in the past 14 days, are subject to mandatory quarantine as a result of recent travel or as a result of an order issued by a provincial or local health authority, and any individual who are visible beginning to show symptoms of COVID-19 must be denied. Individuals who do not have a mask, refuses to comply with instructions given by a crew member with respect to wearing a face mask, or refuse to answer the screening questionnaire must also be denied entry.

Operators are encouraged to read these regulations to ensure compliance. If you are using an air service, ensure they are in compliance with these regulations and ensure they provide you with information to share with your guests. Operators who are using their own aircraft are also expected to have enhanced health and safety protocols and are expected to properly screen their employees prior to boarding the plane. This means ensuring you can implement social distancing to the best of your abilities, have employees wear proper protective equipment, enhance the cleaning of the cabin space and all frequently touched areas and so forth. Operators are encouraged to follow the advice offered by Transport Canada in their "Guidance for Aviation Operators" webpage.

Click here to see the latest Aviation Regulations


All of the latest transportation updates for aviation, rail, marine and road can be seen here. Another thing to consider is that the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety recommends that there should be no more than 4 employees within a 1000 sq ft working area and no more than 10 employees within a 10,000 sq ft area. Please keep this in mind when planning how many employees you will transport or have working at any one time. Operators with any further questions can contact Transportation Canada via e-mail at questions@tc.gc.ca

 


 

Conducting Maintenance? Here Are Some Resources to Help Protect Yourself and Your Employees 

We've heard from several operators who would like to bring employees to their camps to conduct maintenance, even if their businesses can not be open to the public due to the current emergency orders. Many are concerned about how to comply with Ministry of Labour expectations and how the gathering restrictions would impact how many employees they can have on site. As a result, NOTO has conducted research to find some resources to help operators comply with emergency orders, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the expected enhanced health and safety measures.

According the the Canadian Center for Occupational Health & Safety, there should be no more than 3-4 employees per 1000 sq ft or workspace, and no more than 10 employees within a 10,000 sq ft work area. This goes for both indoor and outdoor work areas. By limiting the amount of employees on site, you can properly implement social distancing practices in the workplace. the CCOHS also created workplace tips which are updated regularly as new information becomes available from medical experts. We recommend operators reference the Work Camp information sheet from the CCOHS. This worksheet covers everything from screening employees prior to transportation, enhanced cleaning measures to protect your employees, how to implement social distancing, best practices and so forth. CCOHS also offers other tip sheets, free pandemic courses, posters, business continuity plans, as well as an emergency response planning guide.

The Government of Canada Public Health Services have also put together a page to help employers, employees and essential service workers to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace.

Ontario's Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has been creating special updates with regards to COVID-19. To view the Ministry of Labour's newsletters, please click here.

We also recommend using NOTO's Working During a Pandemic document as a tool to help you meet the enhanced expectations from the Ministry of Labour.

NOTE FOR FLY-IN OPERATORS: Please view the Aviation Updates From Transport Canada section for additional information relevant to your businesses. 

 



Housing Essential Workers

You may open your accommodations to essential workers, however, the Ministry of Labour will expect you to have signage and enhanced health and safety policies in place.

Here are the specifics under the current emergency regulations: Lodges and camps remain "non-essential" and must remain closed unless you are providing a place for an essential worker to isolate as stated under "Short Term Rentals" in the essential services list. Seasonal campgrounds and trailer parks can only open to an individual to self isolate who's primary Canadian residence is their trailer or to individuals who hold a full season contract, as listed under "Seasonal Campground Requirements"

Housing Essential Workers: The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety has put together a great information sheet with tips regarding housing of workers and disinfecting/cleaning tips. Although focused on work camps, it can easily be transformed to suit your needs. Ideally, only have one employee per bedroom/cabin. Otherwise, ensure there is adequate space to ensure social distancing requirements and gathering restrictions can be met.

What type of protocols should I have in place/Ministry of Labour ExpectationsHave a policy in your employee manual that focuses on working during a pandemic. NOTO created this policy which can be used by operators to help them create their own policy to best suit their business needs. The ministry also expects businesses to have signage focusing on awareness of the virus and it's symptoms, enhanced hygiene practices and social distancing requirements. 

The Government of Canada has put together this very helpful webpage focusing on preventing COVID-19 in the workplace. The Government of Canada also put together a collection of infosheets, many which can be used/posted across your business to promote awareness of the virus, remind people of enhanced hygiene practices, and of social distancing requirements: 

You can also used NOTO's Infographs as a resource to help you prepare your business and enhance your cleaning protocols. NOTO is taking the lead on developing health and safety protocols designed specifically for the resource-based tourism industry. We expect that these will be available in the next two to three weeks.

What types of cleaners should I use? Health Canada have put together a table of COVID-19 approved disinfectants. These authorized disinfectants may be used against COVID-19 when used according to the label directions. To find out which disinfectant meets Health Canada's requirements for COVID-19

  1. Locate the Drug Identification Number (DIN) on the disinfectant product label
  2. Look for that number on the Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) list by typing in the DIN into the search/filter box. 

In terms of laundry, use hot water, detergent and bleach (if possible) and dry items using the hot setting until items are completely dry. For other cleaning recommendations, visit the CDC's website.

 


Cleaning

PPE Recommendations:

Cleaning recommendations:

 Cleaners:


Cleaning Specifics for Various Surfaces:

General: 

Hard Surfaces: 

Soft, Porous Surfaces (rugs, carpeted floor, mattresses, pillows drapes):

Electronics (telephones, computers, tablets, remote controls, etc.): 

Vehicles, Aircraft, ATVs, Boats:


Cleaning Product Recommendations: 

Health Canada have put together a table of COVID-19 approved disinfectants. These authorized disinfectants may be used against COVID-19 when used according to the label directions. To find out which disinfectant meets Health Canada's requirements for COVID-19

  1. Locate the Drug Identification Number (DIN) on the disinfectant product label
  2. Look for that number on the Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) list by typing in the DIN into the search/filter box. 

Multi-surface cleaners: Follow the instructions on the cleaning product label. Based on instructions, either use full-strength or diluted according to product recommendations. Apply to the surface until thoroughly wet. Leave on the surface for the designated contact tipe required for disinfection - indicated on back of the label. Wipe with a clean cloth, sponge, or mop.

Bleach solution (5%): Use 5mL of bleach per 250mL of water. Leave on the surface for a minimum of 10 minutes. Allow to air dry. Never mix bleach with any other cleaner or ammonia. Ensure bleach is suitable for the surface prior to use. 

Disinfectant wipe and hand sanitizer: For surfaces, pre-clean surface then use a 70% alcohol based wipe to thoroughly wet the surface. Allow the surface to remain wet for 10 seconds and allow to air dry. Ensure hand sanitizer has a minimum 70% alcohol base. Rub hands until dry. 

Common Cleaners Approved by Health Canada & the CDC: 

You can purchase various cleaning products listed above through stores such as Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Rona, Walmart, etc. 

 

PPE and Cleaning Product Suppliers: 

The Government of Ontario also launched a PPE suppliers directory which you can use to find equipment. These cleaning recommendations were created using information from the Government of Canada (Health Canada), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and the Government of Ontario (Public Health Ontario). 




Resources Operators May Find Helpful


We encourage operators to develop plans A, B and C in order to best navigate and prepare for the possible outcomes of this season. Here are are number of resources that we hope you find helpful in your plan development. We are working on other supports and will share those in the coming days and weeks:

 

 

 



Frequently Asked Questions

Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call Ontario's Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


1) What can I tell my guests if they have concerns?

UPDATED ANSWER:

Unfortunately, Government has made it clear that everyone is to stay home. This means no weekend get-aways, no vacations, no visits with family or friends, etc. Please encourage the postponment of trips rather than cancellations and view additional recommendations from other operators on cancellations listed under question 3.

As the situation develops, and once travel for tourism and recreational purposes are no longer restricted, we recommend you consider the following:

By Car:
  • Have liquid hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in your vehicle.
  • Use disposable gloves when pumping gas and dispose of gloves when finished.
  • Wash your hands before and after each travel stop.
  • Bring garbage bags to dispose of used wipes, tissues, gloves and food items inside your vehicle and deposit into garbage receptacles at each travel stop.
  • Plan ahead and bring food to avoid eating in restaurants.
By Plane:
  • Have liquid hand sanitzer and disinfectant wipes in your carry-on.
  • Wipe down frequently touched surfaces in and around your seating area. Dispose of used wipes and wash/sanitize your hands once you are done.
  • Use alternative flights that avoid major international airports.

2) How can I continue to market?

UPDATED ANSWER:

Unfortunately, Government has made it clear that everyone is to stay home. This means no weekend get-aways, no vacations, no visits with family or friends, etc. We recommend that you put your marketing on hold for now.

As the situation develops, and once travel for tourism and recreational purposes are no longer restricted, we recommend you consider the following:
  • Keep an eye on where the virus has been confirmed and avoid new marketing initiatives in high risk regions.
  • Emphasize that your businesses are located in isolated outdoor environments, away from highly populated areas in Ontario if appropriate.
  • You may wish to spend more dollars in marketing domestically to fill vacancies.
  • Contact the destination marketing organization in your region for advice as well as potential new marketing initiatives and opportunities.
  • Check with Destination Ontario to leverage their marketing campaigns.
  • We advise against discounting your packages in any new marketing campaigns. You are providing a healthy and safe vacation destination option.


3) What advice do you have for operators getting calls from guests inquiring about cancelling their trips?

UPDATED ANSWER: 

We have reached out to a number of our members to ask them how they are dealing with these calls. They have all expressed great concern over refunding deposits. As our industry faces the possibility of not having an operating season or at the very least having a late start to the season, considerable thought must be given to how you handle your cancellations.

We know that relationships you build with your clients are important to you and the success of your business but at a time like this, so is the revenue that you have generated from your deposits to date. Both are critical to your business' survival. Finding a way to retain both can be a challenge but it is something you need to consider. Remember, this pandemic was impossible to foresee for anyone and it is not your fault that you cannot be open.

A number of operators have shared with us the way they are dealing with calls from guests inquiring about cancelling. This is what we have heard:

  • At this point, most are offering the option to postpone May/June trips for later in the season (July/August). Bear Outfitters could offer to postpone spring hunting trips to the fall (if they can accommodate the increased number of guests for the fall)

  • For those guests who wish to cancel or whose trip is being cancelled due to your inability to open, offer to defer their trip to next year and offer to apply a percentage of the deposit they paid for their 2020 trip towards their 2021 (ie, 60-75% roll over). This gives you the opportunity to retain some of the deposit towards this year and shows your guests goodwill by sharing the cost with them.
  • Another option would be to offer to spread the deposit over two future trips. This would help to minimize future impacts.
  • Even if you have a no refund policy for deposits, these options may help to retain clients and ensure revenues for next year.
  • It is not recommended that you return deposits entirely. This will put the future of your business in serious jeopardy.

In the future, if you do not do so already, it is recommended that you encourage your clients to purchase trip cancellation insurance. There are a number of companies that offer it and we can provide more details to anyone who may be interested in learning more.


4) Should I continue my work permit application? 

Yes. We encourage all operators to continue their work permit applications during this time. Please note: the Government is encouraging individuals to apply for work permits online. Due to service disruptions related to COVID-19, they are experiencing difficulties receiving and processing applications submitted by mail or in person at a VAC.


5) Although we can't open our business to the public, can we still hire staff to do maintenance? 

Yes. Although your business is closed, you may still hire staff to do maintenance to get your businesses ready for the season as maintenance has been deemed an essential service:

Maintenance, repair and property management services strictly necessary to manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings.

The clarification we've received from Government is that the maintenance work conducted needs to be structural or important to the real estate or physical property. For example, the upkeep of buildings is deemed essential. The sanitation of your cabins, kitchen, washrooms, etc. counts. Any work that would be in relation to the health and safety of your guests and employees can be classified as essential maintenance. However, the Ministry of Labour will expect that you have some kind of enhanced health and safety policy that your employees have signed and proof that you have applied these enhanced measures to ensure the health and safety of your employees. NOTO has created a policy you can use to help you meet these requirements. Click here to access this policy. We do not recommend having more than 5 people on-site per shift to ensure you meet the gathering restrictions and to ensure social distancing requirements are met. View additional resources and advice in the Maintenance section of this webpage. 

 
6) Are accommodations still deemed essential?

Under the new essential businesses list, lodges and camps can only be open to accommodate individuals who need to self-isolate as specified under the "Short Term Rentals" (for example: a nurse, doctor, or mine worker).


7) Although there are many restrictions and we aren't technically a seasonal campground, can I open my trailer park?

UPDATED ANSWER:

Under the new essential businesses list, seasonal campgrounds and trailer parks can now prepare for the upcoming season. They can not open to the general public except for those who have paid a full season contract. For individuals who have paid a full season contract, the following applies: their trailer must be stationary, must be hooked up to water and electricity, have access to a facility for sewage disposal and act as a secondary permanent residence, much like seasonal residents who live in their cottages for most of the summer. These residents will be allowed to stay overnight in their trailers. All other facilities must remain closed as stated in the emergency order regarding the closure of outdoor recreational spaces (green spaces, parks, beaches, common areas like picnic shelters). All other public amenities such as public washrooms must also remain closed.


8) Can I continue to book guests?

Under the new extended emergency order, you cannot book new guests as specified in the "Short Term Rentals" section for the duration of the emergency order. All accommodations have been deemed non-essential and must remain closed unless you are providing a place for an essential worker to self-isolate. We do not recommend booking any new guests for 2020 until further notice. 


9) Can my employees who are currently claiming EI, claim the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

They can but only when their current EI runs out. On April 15th, as a means to help more Canadians benefit from the CERB, the Government announced changes to the eligibility rules to:

These changes will be retroactive to March 15, 2020. More details are available on the CERB portal.


10) When is the Canada-USA border going to re-open for tourism/leisurely travel?

Unfortunately, no one has the answer to this question. The length of time the border will remain closed will depend on the actions taken by both Governments and the actions of the people residing in both countries. The more people comply with the orders of staying home and avoiding all non-essential travel, including unnecessary trips to the grocery store, the more likely we are to see these restrictions ease before the fall.

 

11) When will American business owners be allowed to cross the Canada-US border to check on our properties?

As of right now, we are still unsure as to when these restrictions will ease. We understand the stress of this situation for American business owners. We know that all of you want to ensure your businesses are in good working order. This is why we continue to press Government to acknowledge the importance of allowing you to cross the Canada-US border to check for vandalism, protect properties, and to ensure your camps are ready for operations to begin as soon as the situation improves. It's about much more than opening your business, it's about protecting your investments.

In the meantime, we encourage you to make arrangements with either fellow camp operators here in Ontario or perhaps your Canadian employees to check on your properties when possible. If this is not possible, we are learning about people willing to check on camps for a fee. Please contact these people directly to to learn more about their services

Kyle Emslie, M.Sc
River Point Environmental
807-251-4333

Steve Hanson
Hanson’s Hideaway Lodge
807-484-2115

Kris Esselink
Manitou Weather Station Fishing Lodge 
1-866-562-5672


12) What support programs have been made available so far?

Please view the Government Support section on this page. 


13) Does the order which prohibits camping on crown land impact my business if I operate with an LUP?

No. Those with LUPs are not impacted by this emergency order. However, camps, lodges and other seasonal businesses have been deemed "non-essential" under the "Short Term Rental" section of the essential services list and have been ordered to close unless you are providing housing to an essential worker who is in need of a place to self-isolate. 


14) Although I can't open my camp, can I open my boat launch and allow the general public to use it?

UPDATED ANSWER: 

Marinas and boat launches can be open for recreational purposes. All other outdoor recreational facilities on the premise must remain closed. Please consult the essential services page for the exact stipulations. 


15) Can I open my accommodations to house essential service workers?

The clarification we received from the Government is yes, you may open your accommodations to essential workers for the purpose of self-isolation, however, the Ministry of Labour will expect you to have signage and enhanced health and safety policies in place.

Here are the specifics under the current emergency regulations: Lodges and camps remain "non-essential" and must remain closed unless you are providing a place for an essential worker to isolate as stated under "Short Term Rentals" in the essential services list. 

Housing Essential Workers: The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety has put together a great information sheet with tips regarding housing of workers and disinfecting/cleaning tips. Although focused on work camps, it can easily be transformed to suit your needs. Ideally, only have one employee per bedroom/cabin. Otherwise, ensure there is adequate space to ensure social distancing requirements and gathering restrictions can be met.

What type of protocols should I have in place/Ministry of Labour ExpectationsHave a policy in your employee manual that focuses on working during a pandemic. NOTO created this policy which can be used by operators to help them create their own policy to best suit their business needs. The ministry also expects businesses to have signage focusing on awareness of the virus and it's symptoms, enhanced hygiene practices and social distancing requirements. 

The Government of Canada has put together this very helpful webpage focusing on preventing COVID-19 in the workplace. The Government of Canada also put together a collection of infosheets, many which can be used/posted across your business to promote awareness of the virus, remind people of enhanced hygiene practices, and of social distancing requirements: 

You can also used NOTO's Infographs as a resource to help you prepare your business and enhance your cleaning protocols. NOTO is taking the lead on developing health and safety protocols designed specifically for the resource-based tourism industry. We expect that these will be available in the next two to three weeks.

What types of cleaners should I use? Health Canada have put together a table of COVID-19 approved disinfectants. These authorized disinfectants may be used against COVID-19 when used according to the label directions. To find out which disinfectant meets Health Canada's requirements for COVID-19

    1. Locate the Drug Identification Number (DIN) on the disinfectant product label
    2. Look for that number on the Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) list by typing in the DIN into the search/filter box. 

In terms of laundry, use hot water, detergent and bleach (if possible) and dry items using the hot setting until items are completely dry. For other cleaning recommendations, visit the CDC's website.


FAQ's from other resources:

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has put together a FAQ sheet of their own featuring questions they've received from small businesses across the country.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada have also put together a FAQ sheet surrounding questions on business insurance


 

NOTO's COVID-19 Infographs

NOTO has developed a collection of infographs to help operators to better understand the virus with tips on preventative measures, cleaning protocols and how to prepare their business overall. These infographs were created using information from the World Health Organization (WHO)Government of CanadaGovernment of Ontario, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Please feel free to share this information with your guests if you feel it would help.

These organizations and Government websites are updated regularly throughout the day. Members who would like to follow the developments of this outbreak are encouraged to visit any of the sources listed above.

 

 


 

NOTO's COVID-19 Newsletters


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NOTO 386 Algonquin Avenue, North Bay, ON P1B 4W3 • T 705.472.5552 • F 705.472.0621 • info@noto.net
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