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 August 11th, 2020.


What's New on This Page

 



NOTO Successfully Lobbies for LUP, BMA and Other Crown Resource Fees to be Waived for 2020

As some of you may know, NOTO sat on the MNRF's Hunting, Fishing and Resource-Based Tourism advisory committee. There were also a number of tourist operators on this call who represented the industry very well and helped to bring light to the impacts of COVID-19 on our sector.

Participation on this committee allowed the Minister to hear directly from stakeholders on how the pandemic has affected these sectors and share ideas to help with recovery. Our work through this committee and additional direct discussions with the Minister's office staff have proven fruitful.

On July 16th, I received a call from the Minister himself letting me know that he is moving ahead with one of the requests we made in March at the onset of this pandemic. It was clear from our discussion that the Minister truly understands the devastating situation our sector is in and wants to help through his Ministry.

Minister Yakabuski will be announcing the waiving of fees for 2020 for resource-based tourism operators. This includes bear operator fees, baitfish operators fees and commercial outpost camp land use fees for the 2020 calendar year. More details will be released in the official announcement from the Minister next week.

The Minister has also committed to working closely with Minister MacLeod to promote hunting, fishing and resource-based tourism in Ontario as everyone shifts their marketing efforts to the domestic market.

NOTO would like to send a heartfelt thank you to Minister Yakabuski on behalf of operators across the Province for listening to our industry's concerns and for his hard work in getting operators some financial support to help them get through these difficult times. We look forward to further discussions on how his Ministry and the Provincial Government as a whole can help our sector through the devastating affects of this unprecedented situation.

I know that this does not provide relief for all of our sector but it is a welcomed first step. We will continue to advocate for meaningful financial assistance for all operators at both the Provincial and Federal levels.

Be well,

Laurie, Executive Director of NOTO




NOTO's Health and Safety Protocols

NOTO has worked closely with our industry-led task force to develop health and safety protocols which cover all aspects of tourism from check-in, accommodations ranging from cabins to outposts and houseboats, and services related to hunting and fishing. These protocols have been vetted by Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. 

We urge all operators to implement enhanced health and safety protocols prior to opening their businesses and ensure you comply with all other emergency orders! Please note, these health and safety protocols are subject to change as the emergency orders change and additional information on COVID-19 becomes available. We will advice you if we make any modifications to this document as we continue to face this pandemic.

Click here to access them! 


Resource-Based Tourism: How to Provide a Safe Environment Amidst COVID Webinar

NOTO and Gougeon Insurance Brokers created a webinar for operators called "Resource-Based Tourism: How to Provide a Safe Environment Amidst COVID". This webinar focused on health and safety protocols and steps operators should take as they begin to open their businesses. This video can also be used as an awareness/training tool for your employees! Click here to view the webinar

Click here to view the Questions and Answers! 


NOTO is continuing to take your messages forward to Government to seek financial support. We are ensuring that they know that while we may be able to open our doors to host the domestic market, the need for meaningful financial support remains dire. The fact the we are operating for a shortened season, mostly at half capacity and some not at all, with increased operating costs due to COVID-19 protocols and no US guests must be relayed to Government repeatedly. 

As an example of some of the messaging we are taking to Government, NOTO presented to the Provincial Standing Finance Committee as part of their hearings on impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism sector. You can view the written presentation here.

Through consultations with all of you, as well as other Provincial and National tourism organizations, NOTO 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 CEWS extension has received royal assent. This benefit will now be available until November 21st, with possibility of extension to December 31st if needed.

We hope that more information on the new tiered system & wage top up for businesses who have suffered substantial losses will hopefully be made available this week.

We've received a few questions from operators who pay themselves through dividends and whether or not they would qualify for the CEWS. Here is a clarification from the Federal Government's websiteThe qualifying revenue of an eligible employer is generally determined in accordance with its normal accounting practices. To the extent that investment revenue, such as interest or dividends from investments in securities, arises in the course of an eligible employer’s ordinary activities in Canada in the particular period, is not an extraordinary item or on account of capital, and is included in revenue under its normal accounting practices, it would generally be included in qualifying revenue. Operators are encouraged to talk to their accountants about this.

Upon reviewing the bill to ensure that seasonal workers will be eligible to access the new CEWS, we found the following: To meet the definition of a qualifying entity, a business must meet one of the following conditions: 1) it had, on March 15th, 2020, a business number in respect of which it is registered with the Minister to make remittance required under section 153 of the Income Tax Act, OR 2) By March 15th, 2020, the business employed one or more individuals in Canada. This stipulation should ensure that seasonal workers are not excluded from this program.

Click here to view all the details. 


Provincial:

Ontario's State of Emergency has expired however, Ontario passed the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 which allows emergency orders to stand and be enforced once the state of emergency has expired. The emergency orders will be reviewed every 30 days and adjusted and extended accordingly. Click here to view the restrictions that continue to apply to our industry.

Most areas have entered Stage 3. Windsor-Essex will join the rest of the province in stage 3 on Wednesday, August 12th. 

Additional Measures and Mandatory Record Keeping in Restaurant, Bars, and for Boat Tours:

As of August 7th, 2020, all restaurant, bars, boat tours and guiding services will be required to keep client logs for a period of 30 days and disclose the client logs to the medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act upon request, which will help support case and contact tracing.

These changes have been initiated through amendments to orders O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 and O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2, under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

Under these acts, the following is listed for food and drink establishments (which includes restaurant, bars and dining halls):
The person responsible for the establishment must,
  • i. record the name and contact information of every patron who enters an indoor or outdoor dining area in the establishment, other than patrons who temporarily enter the area to place, pick up or pay for a takeout order,
  • ii. maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
  • iii. only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.
Under these acts, the following is listed for tour and guide services:
(1) Tour and guide services, including guided fishing and hunting trips, tastings and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries, trail riding tours, walking tours, bicycle tours and motor vehicle tours.
The tour or guide service must,
  • i. record the name and contact information of every patron,
  • ii. maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
  • iii. only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.

In the stage 3 specifications, guiding services must follow the same guidelines and restrictions as tour boat operators therefore these new requirements apply to guiding services as well.
In addition to these new restrictions, the following continue to apply for both indoor and outdoor settings:
  • No buffets
  • Tables must be spaced 2 meters apart
  • Gathering restrictions
  • Mandatory masks when not eating/drinking *depending on your health unit district.
 

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
  • Businesses will get five months of interest and penalty relief to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes. Between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020, the province will not apply any penalty or interest on any late-filed returns or incomplete or late tax payments under select provincially administered taxes, such as Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax and Gas Tax.
  • Employers can defer Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments for up to six months.  
  • Off-peak hydro pricing
  • Northern Ontario rural property tax deferral. If you're within municipal boundaries please contact your local tax department within the city or municipal office to see if they've initiated their own program. 
  • LUP, BMAs and other crown resource fees will be waived for 2020 - details to come. 

Federal

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit: ($2000/month for qualifying individuals)
  • 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.



Services Restriction Updates

We urge each of you to only open WHEN YOU ARE READY! NOTO's health and safety protocols are now available to help you get ready. For supplies, please visit our Preferred Supplier Page; many Preferred Suppliers have initiated programs to help operators during these difficult times. We are here to help guide you through a safe re-opening. Please ensure you comply with all other emergency orders which remain in place. Please view Ontario's Reopening Webpage for clarification as to what is permitted.

For regions in Stage 3, the following restrictions apply:

Mandatory Masks*: Several health units, municipalities and cities have mandated the use of masks in all commercial establishments and indoor public spaces. Regulations may differ by health unit district. We encourage all camp operators to get in touch with their local health unit and/or municipality for more information.  In regions where the health units have implemented mandatory masks, everyone must wear masks inside places of business and indoor public settings. This means anyone working/entering the check in areas, main lodges, and dining halls or restaurants, any indoor common area would need to wear a mask. Individuals are permitted to remove their masks when eating/drinking however masks must be worn when entering and leaving the dining area. Your guests won't need to wear masks in their accommodations or when outdoors. 

Gathering Restrictions: Indoor gatherings of 50 individuals and outdoor gatherings of 100 people are permitted as long as there is enough space to account for social distancing (2m or 6ft) between all individuals. Your employees do not count towards gathering limits in stage 3. Social circles are gatherings of 10 individuals from different households who can gather without needing to socially distance. Individuals may only take part in one circle. If you gather with individuals outside of your household or social circle, social distancing is required. Social circles will remain at 10 for the time being. 

Food Services: All restaurants, bars, concession stands, and other food and drink establishments may open for indoor dine-in. You must ensure physical distancing (2m or 6ft) between tables. You may choose to have live performers however they must be 2m or 6ft away from all other individuals. Similarly to staff, performers don't count towards gathering limits. You may not offer buffet style dinners in stage 3. Remember to properly disinfect all tables and chairs between clients and to clean frequently touched surfaces (i.e door handles, washroom spaces) regularly. Please note that as of August, the emergency order has been amended to implement the following measures:

Guides: This applies to hunting and fishing guides and similar services (i.e. sightseeing). If the guide and clients are in the same vehicle/boat and social distancing cannot be maintained, then guests and guides should wear masks as per Transport Canada's guidelines. It is recommended that all wear masks while the boat is in transit. Businesses are now obligated to record each person's name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing and keep the record for 30 days. Gathering restrictions apply and social distancing must be maintained to the best of your abilities. Equipment must be properly cleaned and sanitized between use.

Beaches: Beaches may open as long as social distancing is enforced. Operators should consider spacing beach chairs and benches 2m (6ft) apart to allow for social distancing and consider placing signage to warn individuals that the resting areas may not have been disinfected prior to their use.

Water Recreational Facilities: Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, water play structures and splash pads may open. People must practice social distancing. Operators should reduce resting areas (i.e. beach chairs) and consider reducing pool capacity. Operators are encouraged to use a booking system to limit the amount of individuals using the equipment at any one time and to allow for social distancing. Waterparks and amusement parks, saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars remain closed in Stage 3. 

Washrooms, Change Rooms and Showers: Change rooms, public washrooms and showers can be available to the public if operators can adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities, ideally between use. Before opening these facilities to the public, operators should determine if they have enough staff to implement a frequent cleaning schedule. If cleaning can not be done between use, operators should implement a strict cleaning schedule and ensure staff sign a sheet indicating when the facilities were last cleaned and post signage warning individuals that the facilities may not have been disinfect prior to their use.

Outdoor Recreational Amenities: Playgrounds, play structures, water slides, and outdoor fitness equipment may now open. 

Rental Equipment: Equipment rentals are permitted so long as you properly clean/disinfect all rental equipment between use.


For regions that remain in Stage 2, the following restrictions apply:

Gathering of 10 individuals: Ontario is now allowing for the creation of social circles. Social circles are gatherings of 10 individuals from different households who can gather without needing to socially distance. Individuals may only take part in one social circle. If you gather with individuals outside of your household or social circle, social distancing is required. Here is the link to the social gathering restrictions emergency order: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200052

Food Service/Outdoor Dining: As the current emergency order stands, restaurants and bars can only offer takeout or delivery services. For camp operators, this means you would need to close any restaurants or dining halls and implement some sort of pick-up options for guests or offer something similar to "room service". Restaurants and bars can open their outdoor patios for dine-in purposes as long as social distancing requirements can be maintained between clients (i.e. 2m between tables, allow adequate space for serving staff to walk by between tables, limiting the number of people on the patio at any one time).

Guides: This applies to hunting and fishing guides and similar services (i.e. sightseeing). If the guide and clients are in the same vehicle/boat and social distancing cannot be maintained, then guests and guides should wear masks as per Transport Canada's guidelines. It is recommended that all wear masks while the boat is in transit. Businesses should consider operating by appointment and record each person's name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing. Gathering restrictions of 10 applies (ex: 9 people + 1 guide) and social distancing must be maintained to the best of your abilities. Equipment must be properly cleaned and sanitized between use.

Beaches: Beaches may open as long as social distancing is enforced. Operators should consider spacing beach chairs and benches 2m (6ft) apart to allow for social distancing and consider placing signage to warn individuals that the resting areas may not have been disinfected prior to their use.

Water Recreational Facilities: Indoor and outdoor swimming pools and splash pads may open. Waterparks, wave pools and water slides must remain closed. People must practice social distancing. Operators should reduce resting areas (i.e. beach chairs) and consider reducing pool capacity. Steam room and saunas must remain closed. Hot tubs and floating pools must also remain closed.

Washrooms, Change Rooms and Showers: Change rooms, public washrooms and showers can be available to the public if operators can adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities, ideally between use. Before opening these facilities to the public, operators should determine if they have enough staff to implement a frequent cleaning schedule. If cleaning can not be done between use, operators should implement a strict cleaning schedule and ensure staff sign a sheet indicating when the facilities were last cleaned and post signage warning individuals that the facilities may not have been disinfect prior to their use.

Outdoor Recreational Amenities: Playgrounds, play structures, water parks, water slides, and outdoor fitness equipment must remain closed.

Rental Equipment: Equipment rentals are permitted so long as you properly clean/disinfect all rental equipment between use.


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. 

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


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 August 21st, with possibility of extension. There is no timeline as to when the Canada-USA border may re-open.


US Camp Owners Permitted to Enter Canada! Please read through it carefully and follow the recommendations for proceeding. 

To our Valued Partners in Tourism,

As you may have heard, the province of Ontario has allowed lodges, camps and cabin rentals to start reopening subject to safe protocols and restrictions. This only applies to Canadian guests as the border restrictions continue until August 21, 2020. 

Foreign Nationals who own a Canadian lodge/camp will be allowed to apply for a LMIA exempt work permit at the Ports of Entry, so long as their business qualifies to open and their intent is to operate for the summer of 2020. Once a work permit is issued, the Foreign National would be allowed to enter as an authorized worker, but will need to be able to self-isolate for 14 days at a designated address subject to public health quarantine rules. (Information will be provided when you arrive at the border)

To facilitate a large influx of people seeking work permits we would like to have you contact the Port of Entry where you normally cross and they will direct you as to any changes in the process. In Fort Frances, where we issue the majority of camp owner work permits, we will be implementing a pre-screening process and be issuing the permits by appointment to handle the volume. I hope that by mutual respect and cooperation we can meet the needs of this large group of foreign workers and keep our backlogs to a minimum. We are also working to ensure the health and safety or our Officers and all of our clients in this challenging time.

As a group of business owners you have been patient with the inability to attend to your place of business and I would ask for your patience over the weekend as we ready our processes to prepare for your arrival. We will be in a better position to accept your work permit applications next week and will start the scheduling of appointments after we review the information that you will be asked to provide.

Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.

Telephone number for our Ports of Entry are as follows:

Kevin Begin
Superintendent/Surintendant
Canada Border Services Agency/Agence des services frontaliers du Canada
Northern Ontario Region/Région du Nord de l'Ontario
Fort Frances Port of Entry/Point d'Entrée Fort Frances
101 Church Street/101 rue Church
Fort Frances, Ontario
P9A 3X8
(807) -274-5426

 

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 July 13th, 2020 with regards to flights.

All passengers must wear masks while boarding, during the flight, and while un-boarding. Crews must wear masks at all times while boarding. If a distance of 2m can not be held at all times during the flight, crews must wear a mask during the flight. Exemptions apply to persons on the flight deck, i.e. pilots, flight engineers, and TC inspectors. However, if the pilot is not 2m away from another individual who isn't part of the flight deck exemptions, they must also wear a mask. 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

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

In addition to the health check, the operator must ask every person

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

 

Mandatory Temperature Checks

As the current Interim Order stands, mandatory temperature checks only apply to international flights. Transport Canada has clarified that there is no need to conduct temperature checks for domestic flights. 

The Government of Canada will now require temperature screenings for all passengers travelling to Canada or travelers departing Canadian airports for either international or domestic destinations.

For international flights to Canada, air operators must conduct temperature screenings at the point of departure, unless the local authority has an equivalent measure in place, in addition to the existing required health check questions for symptoms prior to boarding.

Within Canada, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority screeners will conduct the temperature screening of passengers as part of departure screening procedures. This is in addition to the health screening questions and the wearing of face coverings that are already required for all passengers.

The Government of Canada is taking a phased approach to implementing temperature screening.

In addition, all employees and personnel that enter or work in the restricted area of the airport will be subject to temperature screening procedures by Canadian Air Transport Security Authority personnel.

All passengers who have an elevated temperature and do not have a medical certificate to explain a medical or physical condition that would result in an elevated temperature, will not be permitted to continue their travel and will be asked to re-book after 14 days.

 

All of the latest transportation updates for aviation, rail, marine and road can be seen here. 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. 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.

 



Housing Essential Workers

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

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

For additional cleaning guidance and best practices, please view NOTO's health and safety protocols document. 

A Note on Foggers and UV Lights: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Protection Agency, and the World Health Organization DO NOT recommend fogging as a method of sanitization against COVID-19. Fogging does not adequately disinfect surfaces and may lead to eye, skin and respiratory irritation. A few health care centres have implemented the use of UV technology however the CDC and WHO state that you would still require to clean all surfaces to remove any organic matter on the surface prior to use. The efficiency of UV is highly dependent on irradiation dose, wavelength and exposure time; lamp placement; lamp age; and duration of use. Other factors include direct or indirect line of sight from the device; room size and shape; intensity; and reflection. 


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


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

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?

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?

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. 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? 

UPDATED ANSWER: Starting Friday, June 5 at 12:01 am, our government is allowing short term rentals including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condominiums and B&Bs to resume operations in Ontario. 

Yes. 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?

UPDATED ANSWER: Starting Friday, June 5 at 12:01 am, our government is allowing short term rentals including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condominiums and B&Bs to resume operations in Ontario. As of June 12th, seasonal campgrounds and trailer parks may resume operations. Please view service restrictions here


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

UPDATED ANSWER: As of June 12th, seasonal campgrounds and trailer parks may resume operations. Please view service restrictions here


8) Can I continue to book guests?

UPDATED ANSWER: Yes. Starting Friday, June 5 at 12:01 am, our government is allowing short term rentals including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condominiums and B&Bs to resume operations in Ontario. As of June 12th, seasonal campgrounds and trailer parks may resume operations. Please view service restrictions here. 


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?

UPDATED ANSWER: US Camp owners can now come into Canada but there are steps operators need to take prior to commencing travel. Please view the Border Update section of this page.



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 any emergency order impacting crown land, only those with regards to the essential services list and other business related emergency orders (closure of outdoor recreational amenities, restaurant restrictions, gathering restrictions, etc.). 


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. 


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

Please view the Housing Essential Workers section of this page. 

 

16) Guests want to come once the border is open and many have rebooked hoping that the border will reopen. I also have workers looking to stay at my lodge this summer and I’m afraid of double-booking in the event that the border does reopen. What should I do?

As a business owner you should ask yourself the following questions: Are the workers going to be back next year? Are or will your guests be repeat clientele? What does your future look like if you don’t reach a certain number of bookings? Does the fate of your business depend on the border opening?  Your business is about tourism and depending on how you answer these questions, that’s a decision you would need to take.

 

17) What would be the minimum amount of time to leave a cabin/boat vacant prior to cleaning?

The virus lives on various surfaces for different amounts of time. Health Canada has specified that the virus can live up to 4 hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 3 days on plastics and stainless steel. The amount of time the virus can survive also depends on the relative humidity and temperature of the environment. The good news is that the virus is easily inactivated by using simple disinfectants and/or diluted bleach solutions. If you have the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning solutions, you may safely proceed with a deep clean of the accommodations a few hours after your guest’s departure. For additional safety, and to minimize the amount of deep cleaning you would need to do, you may choose to leave the accommodations vacant for 24 to 72 hours. This decision would be yours to make and you would need to consider your bookings, staffing, PPE and cleaning product supply, etc.   

 

18) Where does leather fit in in terms of disinfection?

Leather is a porous surface. Although there are no exact timelines as to how long COVID-19 may live on porous surfaces, Health Canada and the CDC both state that the virus can live longer on hard surfaces vs porous ones. You would need to use cleaners suitable to that surface, and ensure you follow the instruction labels to ensure proper contact time prior to wiping off for adequate disinfection.

19) What kind of mask is recommended?

N95 masks should be reserved for medical professionals. You can use medical grade surgical masks or use non-medical masks. The Government of Canada states the following 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.

 

20) With a shortage of PPE and many only being distributed to health care workers, how can we access this equipment?

Mask, safety goggles, and hand sanitizer has been made available through our Preferred Suppliers. NOTO is also collecting business names and including them on our COVID-19 webpage. If you know of any business who is selling these products, please let us know and we will include them in this list. The Government of Ontario also created a PPE directory which you can use.


21) What about ceilings and walls? Should these be disinfected as well?

There is no need to disinfect ceilings between each client. In terms of cleaning, it is good practice to clean ceilings every once and a while to remove dirt/dust that may accumulate, especially around light fixtures.For walls, several organizations and Government agencies encourage the cleaning of walls where they have been visibly soiled or where individuals may commonly touch the walls, including areas to access/use a wall mounted item.  This would include disinfecting the walls near the entrance as many may lean on the wall to put on/take off their shoes, walls near kitchen appliances, and walls by the beds.

 

22) Guidelines for occupancy?

We have not seen any guidance for guests per square inch. As of Friday June 12th, The Government of Ontario will be extending the gathering restrictions to 10 individuals and also allowing individuals to create social circles. Social circles are gathering of 10 individuals who can gather without needing to socially distance.

 

23) What about pots, pans, dishes and bakeware?

The concern with these items is more focused on the items that touch your mouth. In most cottages, dish sets are provided and individuals are expected to wash them. We highly encourage operators post signage as identified in the appendices of the health and safety protocols.


24) Cleaning/disinfection of dishes – is hand washing good enough or should we move to dishwashers?

Dishwasher is best as the hot water will provide additional disinfection however handwashing dishes with soap and water will do the job. Please ensure dishes are completely dry prior to re-use.  

 

25) What about leaving accommodation between guests? Should we wait 24 hours before staff goes in and another 24 hours post-cleaning before new guests arrive? What are hotels doing?

Most hotels are waiting 24 hours prior to having housekeeping staff go in and clean. The longer you leave the area vacant, the less product you need to use to completely disinfect the accommodation unit.The virus lives of various surfaces for different amounts of time. Health Canada has specified that the virus can live up to 4 hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 3 days on plastics and stainless steel. The amount of time the virus can survive also depends on the relative humidity and temperature of the environment. The good news is that the virus is easily inactivated by using simple disinfectants and/or diluted bleach solutions. If you have the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning solutions, you may safely proceed with a deep clean of the accommodations a few hours after your guest’s departure. For additional safety, and to minimize the amount of deep cleaning you would need to do, you may choose to leave the accommodations vacant for 24 to 72 hours. This decision would be yours to make and you would need to consider your bookings, staffing, PPE and cleaning product supply, etc.  

 

26) Do you recommend not providing bedding or do you recommend washing and drying?

If you are short handed, you may consider having guests bring their own bedding. We are a high service industry and we don’t want to make this as an official recommendation but it would depend on your business and where you can find efficiencies if you are a little strapped. Ideally, guests should bring their own pillows. You could provide blankets and other linens and launder them upon the guests’ departure but definitely encourage individuals to bring their own pillows as they breath directly on those.

27) What about hang drying linens?

All linens should be laundered using detergent and hot water. The key is to ensure the items are completely dry prior to reuse. You may choose to hang dry, however a dryer is best.


28) Are there any recommendations for outdoor seating (Muskoka chairs, tables, benches, etc.)?

Ensure they are 2m apart, disinfect regularly and post signage to warn people that they may be exposed to COVID-19 by using this equipment and of social distancing requirements.

 

29) Will the 14-day quarantine be waived if border reopens?

CBSA and CFOA are pressing Government to eliminate 14-day quarantine. Government is talking about what they can do in place of 14-day quarantine. CFOA pushing to recognize that guests are going to ideally places for social distancing.  CBSA is currently talking about testing, health certificates, as these will be needed to eliminate quarantine.

 

30) Does anyone know if those staying in can have guests come over in seasonal campgrounds and trailer parks?

Those staying at a seasonal campground or trailer park may have guests however, campers must adhere to social gathering size restrictions and maintain physical distancing (2m or 6ft) with people outside their household and social circle, and when outside of their campsites.

 

31) Cleaners are hard on the environment, are there any eco friendly products that can be used?

Ecolab cleaning products have been classified as an effective cleaner against COVID-19 by the Government of Canada. Please ensure you read and follow the instructions on the product label to ensure proper disinfection. 

 

32) We are a fly-in lodge. What if people are showing symptoms? What do we do?

Build an evacuation plan. Reach out to your local health unit, insurance company and air carrier (if applicable) to establish this plan. Ensure PPE is available including a hazmat suit in case you need to evacuate the person yourself. Identify various evacuation areas. Maybe there are boat or ATV access points you or emergency crews may access rather than flying out the individual.  

 

33) Should we encourage guests to open window to increase ventilation upon departure?

The CDC highly recommends taking measures to improve air ventilation, including opening doors and windows to improve circulation. Encouraging guests to open windows upon departure could definitely be adopted as a best-practice.

 

34) Any recommendation for products that are water safe for power washing boats?

Unfortunately, we could not find a product that is 100% water safe. One product that has been deemed as an effective disinfectant against COVID-19 is Spray Nine’s Marine Cleaner however it’s safety data sheet does not have any ecological information. We recommend reaching out to Boating Ontario for more information on cleaners. 

 
35) With the gatherings moving to 50 indoors, can I rent a single cabin to a group with more than 10 individuals?

Unfortunately it is not recommended. All individuals must continue to socially distance from anyone outside of their household and social bubble. Social bubbles are gathering of 10 individuals who may gather without needing to socially distance. Social bubbles will remain at 10 individuals and may be increased latter in stage 3.
 
36) Do my employees count towards the gathering restrictions?

No. Your employees do not count towards gathering limits in stage 3.

 
37) What does stage 3 mean for bars and restaurants? What about dining halls?

All restaurants, bars, concession stands, and other food and drink establishments may open for indoor dine-in. You must ensure physical distancing (2m or 6ft) between tables. You may choose to have live performers however they must be 2m or 6ft away from all other individuals. Similarly to staff, performers don't count towards gathering limits. You may not offer buffet style dinners in stage 3. Remember to properly disinfect all tables and chairs between clients and to clean frequently touched surfaces (i.e door handles, washroom spaces) regularly.

 
38) Are masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces for stage 3?

Several health units, municipalities and cities have mandated the use of masks in all commercial establishments and indoor public spaces. Regulations differ by health unit district. We encourage all camp operators to get in touch with their local health unit and/or municipality for more information.

 
39) Can I open my playground and water play structures in stage 3?

Yes you can however it is recommended that you create a type of booking system to limit the amount of individuals using these structures at any one time and to ensure physical distancing.

 
40) Say an area has a capacity of 45 individuals, can I open it at max capacity?

Gathering restrictions of 50 individuals indoors and 100 outdoors must include enough space to maintain a physical distancing (2m or 6ft) distance between all individuals. Unless your area is fit to accommodate 45 individuals with 2m between individuals, you may not run it at full capacity.

 

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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