Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Everyone is beginning to feel the impacts of COVID-19. We have been receiving several phone calls and e-mails from operators across the province who are looking for advice on how to best prepare their businesses during this pandemic. On this page, you will find links to inforgraphics NOTO has created to provide operators with information on COVID-19, prevention measures, and tips on how to prepare their businesses, links to our COVID-19 newsletters, and a Q&A section featuring questions we've been receiving from operators either by phone or via e-mail. We hope that you all find this page resourceful.

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 March 27, 2020.

 COVID-19 Infographics

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.

Provincial and Federal Government Information & Updates

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 News Updates: 

Update From CBSA: "Temporary foreign workers, some international students and approved permanent residents who haven’t yet landed are now able to enter Canada."

Support for Small Businesses - The Prime Minister has announced the following intiatives for small businesses on March 27:

Ontario's COVID-19 Action Plan

Older announcements:

Federal Health Minister has enacted the Quarantine Act which makes it mandatory for any international travellers to undergo quarantine. Anyone caught in violation of this act will face charges and potential imprisonment. 

Hydro Price Freeze (March 24): Ontario's hydro prices to remain on off-peak rates for 45 days. 

Ontario's Essential Services List (March 24): Accommodations of any kind have been deemed "essential".

Work Permits: 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.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (March 25): This will replace the Emergency Care and Emergency Support benefits announced last week. This benefit will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:

Border Closure (March 18): Prime Minister: Canada-USA border closed to all non-essential travel including recreational and tourism. There is no timeline on when this closure will be lifted. 

Other Resources Operators May Find Helpful

Federal Resources for Small to Medium Businesses

Federal Government COVID-19 Response and Supports

Payroll & COVID-19 From The Canadian Payroll Association 

The Canadian Payroll Association created an information sheet featuring questions they've been receiving on the topic of payroll. In this information sheet, they feature programs that the Federal Government has announced to support employees, as well as tips for employers on how to fill Records on Employment and answers to frequently asked questions surrounding lay-offs and EI benefits.This information sheet covers what to do if an employee gets sick or needs to care of a sick family member, what to do if employees can't work as a result of business closures due to COVID-19, what would be taxable or insurable if you are paying an employee who can't return home from another country and so forth.
Federal Support Initiatives Through Canada's Regional Development Agencies

Businesses affected by the situation are asked to contact their local economic development officer. The Federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages team is also ready to assist if need be. Please note the following:

Supports and Information From Destination Canada

Destination Canada put together a COVID-19 page where anyone in the tourism industry can find an update on their activities and initiatives, links to Federal Support Programs and other relevant information sources regarding COVID-19 that may impact various areas of your business.

Supports and Initiatives From FedNor

FedNor is closely monitoring the COVID-19 global challenge and the potential impact it could have on your business and your workers, as well as the broader economy.  They have compiled a list of key federal departments and business associations websites to help you take full advantage of available services.


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

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?
  • 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?

Of course, it is everyone's hope that Coronavirus will be a thing of the past once our summer season arrives so at this time here are some options for points of discussion around cancellations for summer trips:
  • Review and acknowledge your existing cancellation policies
  • Propose the possibility of postponing cancellations until closer to their trip dates and suggest a time frame to check back with you
  • Offer to carry over the deposit to 2021 season
  • Some opertators have mentioned that they are currently moving reservations over by a month and extending their operating season into the fall. This may be something you may want to consider. 
There are pros and cons to each of these options that you will need to weigh. You will need to consider guest retention, revenue deferral, and goodwill. You know your guests best and you need to use the options that are best for your business.

4) Should I continue to go ahead with staff hires?

After speaking with a number of business owners, we have learned that they recommend moving forward with job postings and interviews in order to be ready when tourism is open for business again.
Here are some points they shared with us:
  • Be open with potential staff during the interview process
  • Let them know the start date will be determined at a later date.
  • Discuss the "normal" procedures and start dates
  • Encourage them to take the time to take any online training in advance of their start date so that they will be ready to get to work as soon as you are able to open

5) 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.

COVID-19 Newsletters

March 25th Update: Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Work Permits, Mandatory Quarantine & More

March 23rd Update: Government Supports, Tips for Businesses Surounding Payroll, Additional Conference Calls for Operators & More

March 18th Update: Border Closure to Include USA, Federal Government Economic Stimulus Package and More

March 16th Update: Border Closure (Exception USA), Federal Tourism Supports, Destination Canada Update and More

Coronavirus (COVID-19): How to Prepare Your Business


NOTO 386 Algonquin Avenue, North Bay, ON P1B 4W3 • T 705.472.5552 • F 705.472.0621 •
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