COVID-19

 

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National and Coast-to-Coast   General Information


British Columbia

Updated April 28: 2021: British Columbia’s Paid Vaccination Leave Now in Force. Receiving Royal Assent yesterday evening, British Columbia’s legislation on paid vaccination leave (Bill 3) is now in effect, retroactive to April 19th. Full-time and part-time employees can take up to three hours paid leave for each COVID vaccination.  For more details, please see the news release here.

Updated April 21, 2021: British Columbia’s legislation for paid vaccination leave:

  • On Monday, the BC government introduced legislation to provide workers with up to three hours paid leave to get each dose of their COVID-19 vaccine
  • The legislation has not yet been passed, however when it comes into force, it will be retroactive to April 19th.
  • As soon as we hear that the Bill has come into effect, we will let you know.
  • We understand that employers may ask employees to provide “reasonably sufficient proof” that the employee is entitled to vaccination leave. However, employers may not ask for a note from a medical or nurse practitioner.

Updated November 20, 2020: BC announced yesterday a province-wide requirement to wear masks in public indoor spaces. Also, since announcing their mandatory mask order, PEI has shared further details on requirements and exceptions, as well as our links to sample store signage. View our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List to see details.

Shared July 8, 2020: Some municipalities have ordered that face masks be worn inside stores. To assist our members comply with the varying requirements and enforcement dates, CICC has compiled this list of regional requirements. We will update the details as information become available.

Updated June 3, 2020: For current cross-country re-opening updates, please view our Full Brief.

Updated May 25, 2020: Further services are re-opening across the country. View our Full brief for detailed information on re-opening plans across the nation. 

Updated May 8, 2020: British Columbia has announced updates to their re-opening plans. View our full brief for details on re-opening plans across the nation. For a quick summary, see our Coast to Coast Update.



Alberta

Updated May 17, 2021: Albertans seeking a medical exemption from wearing a mask use now require a letter from a physician, nurse practitioner or psychologist. Retail protocols are the same.

Updated May 5, 2021: To help stop the spike in cases, new mandatory health measures were announced last night. The new measures and restrictions come into force today and will remain in place for at least three weeks. For municipalities or areas with more than 50 cases per 100,000 people and with 30 or more active cases (majority of the province):
– Retail services must limit customer capacity to 10 per cent of fire code occupancy (not including staff), down from 15%.
– Any workplace with transmission of three or more cases will be required to close for 10 days.

To reinforce the importance of following public health orders and the consequences of not doing so, fines will double to $2,000 for Public Health Act violations. For full details on the new restrictions and measures, see Alberta’s news release here

Updated April 21, 2021: Alberta has introduced paid vaccination leave legislation, which, if passed, will retroactively take effect from today. The paid leave will apply to all employees regardless of job status and there will be no requirement to have worked any length of time for an employer.

Updated April 7, 2021: The province has reverted back to Step 1 of its Path Forward plan reducing retail capacity to 15% (from 25%). 

Updated March 8, 2021: The province has entered Step 2 in its Path Forward plan. As such, retailers across the province may operate at 25% capacity (not including staff).

Updated January 29, 2021: As part of its Path Forward plan, sectors in the province will see gradual restrictions changes based on hospitalization benchmarks. Retail capacity restrictions will relax when hospitalizations fall below 450, which is expected to happen at least three weeks away. For now, retailers across the province are to continue operating at 15% capacity.

Updated December 9: Alberta announced yesterday, and made effective immediately, that mask-wearing in indoor public spaces is now required province-wide. Masks in indoor public spaces are now required in ALL provinces.
We are still awaiting details on enforcement expectations, exceptions, and potential fines for Alberta.. Until then, please see our Mandatory Mask Requirements List for early information. 

Updated November 25: Alberta announced new measures effective Friday, November 27. Retail businesses in Calgary, Edmonton, and enhanced areas may remain open but with a capacity limited to 25% of occupancy set under Alberta Fire Code. Alberta is the only province to not have a province-wide mask-wearing mandate. 

Updated August 10, 2020: Following Canmore, Alberta’s order, we have updated our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List.

Updated July 30, 2020: We have updated our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List to now include details of Edmonton’s newly announced by-laws, which will be in effect from August 1st. 

Updated July 29, 2020: Our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List now includes requirements for Banff, Alberta and the announcement from the Northwestern Ontario Health Unit.

Updated July 22, 2020: With Calgary’s recent announcement of their mandatory mask by-law, we have updated our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List to include early details of the city’s requirements.

Shared July 8, 2020: Some municipalities have ordered that face masks be worn inside stores. To assist our members comply with the varying requirements and enforcement dates, CICC has compiled this list of regional requirements. We will update the details as information become available.

Updated June 3, 2020: For current cross-country re-opening updates, please view our Full Brief.

Updated May 25, 2020: Further services are re-opening across the country. View our Full brief for detailed information on re-opening plans across the nation. 

Updated May 14, 2020: Alberta begins Phase One of its reopening plans in most of the province and Ontario announced re-opening plans for the long weekend and next week. For details view our Full Brief and Coast to Coast Update



Saskatchewan

Shared July 8, 2020: Some municipalities have ordered that face masks be worn inside stores. To assist our members comply with the varying requirements and enforcement dates, CICC has compiled this list of regional requirements. We will update the details as information become available.

Updated June 3, 2020: For current cross-country re-opening updates, please view our Full Brief.

Updated May 25, 2020: Further services are re-opening across the country. View our Full brief for detailed information on re-opening plans across the nation. 



Manitoba

Updated May 20, 2021: Manitoba announced new public health measures which go into effect from Saturday at 12:01am. The only measure affecting our stores is that only one person per household will be allowed to go into a business, with exceptions such as a parent with children or a caregiver accompanying someone they care for. For more details, please the province’s news release here.

Updated May 7, 2021: The province just announced new public health orders which come into effect on Sunday, May 9 at 12:01am for a period of three weeks. The only new restriction affecting convenience stores is the reduction of retail capacity to 10%.
For full details on all new restrictions, please see the province’s news release here.

Updated May 7, 2021: Following Ontario’s lead, Manitoba is launching a new Pandemic Sick Leave Program to fill the financial assistance gaps between federal support and paid sick leave provided by employers:

  • The program will provide employers that do not currently provide paid sick leave with up to $600 per employee for up to 5 days of COVID related sick leave, which do not need to be taken consecutively.
  • This program is not open to employers who currently provide paid sick leave.
  • This program does not cover employees who have exhausted their paid sick leave benefits.
  • Full-time and part-time employees are eligible.
  • Eligible sick leaves includes:  testing, vaccinations and side effects, self-isolation due to COVID-19 symptoms, or care for a loved one in any of these circumstances.
  • The program would support sick leave taken between May 7th and September 25th(when CRSB is set to expire).
  • Economic Development and Jobs will administer the program via an online tool.
  • The application form will be available from next Friday, May 14th at noon CT.

Updated April 23, 2021: Manitoba government has released further details on priority vaccine eligibility for convenience store workers in hotspot communities:

  • Convenience store and gas station workers aged 18+ that live or work in the Downtown East, Inkster East, or Point Douglas South neighbourhoods of Winnipeg can now make vaccine appointments at super-sites and pop-up clinics. 
  • Locations of super-sites and clinics can be found here.
  • Appointments can be made online here or by calling 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC) 

At this time, the priority eligibility does not extend to distributors that work in the above communities. The province’s Eligibility Criteria webpage notes that only employees that work in an eligible workplace (store or gas station) are currently eligible: 

Updated April 21, 2021: All retail stores must limit capacity to 33% of fire code.

Updated February 2, 2021: Retail restrictions in northern Manitoba were lifted and the essential items list eliminated.

Updated January 23, 2021: As a reward for a drop in infection rates, Southern Manitoba relaxed business restrictions today allowing for the opening of non-essential businesses and the selling of non-essential items. In the Northern Health Region where COVID-19 case numbers remain high, revisions to retail rules don’t apply. For in-store shopping, retailers in this region may still only sell essential items detailed on this list.

Updated December 7: The Manitoba government issued a “clarifying” statement removing vape products from the essential items list that convenience stores can sell under the current order. Air fresheners, pens, and stationary products have also been removed from the essentials list. Please see the revised list here

Updated November 23, 2020: On Thursday, Manitoba announced strict rules prohibiting that non-essential items can no longer be sold in-store and capped operations capacity at 25%. Late this weekend, the province clarified and published the list items considered essential, which includes many products sold in our stores.

Shared July 8, 2020: Some municipalities have ordered that face masks be worn inside stores. To assist our members comply with the varying requirements and enforcement dates, CICC has compiled this list of regional requirements. We will update the details as information become available.

Updated June 3, 2020: For current cross-country re-opening updates, please view our Full Brief.

Updated May 25, 2020: Further services are re-opening across the country. View our Full brief for detailed information on re-opening plans across the nation. 



Ontario

Updated May 20, 2021: Ontario released its Roadmap to Reopen. Following the footsteps of Saskatchewan and Quebec, Ontario’s three-step plan is contingent on vaccination rates and public health and health system indicators. The steps will be applied provincially and will remain in place for at least 21 days before moving on to the next step.
Currently, convenience stores may operate at 25%.

  1. In Step One, which is expected to start the week of June 14, capacity for essential will remain at 25%.
  2. In Step Two, essential retail capacity will increase to 50%.
  3. In Step Three, retail capacity will increase again but the province hasn’t yet shared what this will be.

Public health and workplace safety measures would continue to apply across all steps, including maintaining physical distance and mask wearing. For full details on the Roadmap to Reopen, please see the backgrounder here.  

Updated May 12, 2021: The province’s Stay-At-Home Order has been extended until at least June 2, 2021. Public health measures and retail restrictions still hold.

Updated April 28, 2021: Ontario just announced that tomorrow it will introduce the COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit Program
– If passed, the legislation will be retroactive from April 19th and will run to September 25th (when CRSB is set to expire).
– The legislation will require employers to pay workers, full-time and part-time, up to $200/day for up to 3 days.
– This is intended for shorter-term situations. For longer-term support, the CRSB still exists.
– However, an employee can’t have access to both the Ontario and CRSB benefit in the same calendar weekOntario independent contractors are not eligible for Ontario’s program.
– This new program is intended for employers that don’t offer paid sick leave benefit or offer less than 3 days paid sick leave. Ex: if an employer only offers 1 day paid sick leave, the employee is eligible for 2 paid sick days through this program.
– The new program is not intended to be stacked on top of any current employer-paid leave programs at a workplace. Ex: if an employee’s work benefits include 3 paid leave days, they don’t get another 3 days with this program. No sick notes or forms are required.
– Employer will pay worker; employer will be reimbursed by the province.
– Employer claims through WSIB. An employer doesn’t have to already be registered with the WSIB in order to qualify.
– Employer has four months from the date of the leave to apply for reimbursement.
– “Sick” is defined as:
– Sick with COVID or may have COVID
– Getting COVID Vaccine
– Adverse reaction to COVID vaccine
– Getting tested for COVID
– Self-Isolating
– Mental health challenges due to COVID
– Caring for a dependent with COVID or may have COVID.

Updated April 20, 2021: Toronto and Peel to close businesses with 5+ cases:
– Businesses that have had five or more COVID-19 cases in the previous 14 days are directed to close for 10 days where:
– Cases could have reasonably acquired their infection at work, or
– No obvious source of infection has been identified outside of the workplace
– The 10-day closure starts the day after the business has been notified it must close.
– Employees impacted by the closure are required to self-isolate and cannot work elsewhere.
– Employers required to close under these provisions are strongly recommended to provide paid leave for impacted employees.
– For further details, read Toronto’s news release and Peel’s new release.

Updated April 16, 2021: The province-wide stay-at-home- order has been extended for an additional two weeks (now at least until May 20th). Additionally, all retail stores, including convenience stores, may now only operate at 25% (down from 50%). This will take effect from 12:01am, Saturday, April 17th.
Starting Monday, April 19th, interprovincial travel will also be restricted to just work and medical purposes and the transport of goods.
The Solicitor General stressed that health and by-law officers will have special authority to enforce measures, including stopping people to question why they are outside their residence. Carrying proof of reason is not required, as it is in Quebec for movement during curfew hours, however, if one doesn’t comply, the officer may issue a ticket. ** Updated April 19: over the weekend, the government has revised this notice to say that officers will stop vehicles or people if they are suspected of participating in an organized public event or social gathering.

Updated April 7, 2021: CICC has been at the forefront of discussions with provinces ensuring that they understand the importance of keeping our channel open. In Ontario, we were successful in our advocacy to ensure that the essential items list that was used in Manitoba was not duplicated in Ontario. Government understood that this was not practical.
As you are aware, Ontario has declared its third state of emergency and is implementing a province-wide stay-at-home order – the most restrictive of public health orders. The order takes affect at 12:01am Thursday and will last for at least four weeks. 
Convenience stores are still considered essential and are permitted to stay open for in-store shopping. Under the stay-at-home order, convenience stores can operate at only 50% capacity.
Big box retailers are also permitted to stay open but are restricted to sell only essential items: grocery, pharmaceutical, household cleaning, personal and pet care items. In their briefing officials said they expect essential retailers to self-regulate the products that they sell.
In today’s news release, the province has noted that health and safety inspectors and provincial offenses officers will increase inspections and enforcement at essential businesses in regional hot zones to continue protecting essential workers while on the job. The inspection campaign will kick off in Peel and Halton this weekend and move to Toronto, York, and Ottawa next week. In addition to continuing passive screening before a customer enters the store, physical distancing, mask-wearing, and cleaning practices, a reminder that stores must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan prepared. The plan must be posted in a place where employees and customers will see it and it must be available to present to an inspector if requested.

Updated April 1, 2021: Out of concern for the sharp rise in cases due to the fast spreading variants of COVID-19, Premier Ford has confirmed that the entire province will be under an emergency brake lockdown from 12:01am Saturday, April 3rd for at least four weeks
Convenience stores throughout the province may operate at 50% capacity. A reminder that stores must have signs posted at entrances requiring patrons to self-screen before entering (passive screening) and indicating the maximum capacity. Stores’ safety plans do not have to be publicly posted but must be readily available for any person (health inspector) to review it if requested and must be placed in a conspicuous place for employees or visitors to reference it. For full details, read Ontario’s press release here.

Updated, March 12, 2021: Due to a spike in cases in less than a week, Sudbury has moved to Grey-Lockdown level, effective today. C-stores in this zone may operate at only 50% capacity.

Updated March 5, 2021: It was announced this afternoon that a number of Public Health Units will be moving on the provincial COVID-19 Response Framework as of Monday, March 8 at 12:01am. 
After being under the provincial Stay-At-Home order since December, North Bay Parry Sound District will be returning to the Framework at the Red-Control level, while Toronto Public Health and Peel Public Health will return to the Framework at the Grey-Lockdown level.
In addition, the following seven public health regions will also be moving to the following levels in the Framework:

Red-Control:
– Peterborough Public Health
– Public Health Sudbury and Districts
– Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit

Orange-Restrict:
– Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
– Timiskaming Health Unit.

Yellow-Protect:
– Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
– Renfrew County and District Health Unit.

Updated March 4, 2021: Over the coming weeks, provincial offences officers will be returning to businesses they have already visited in Eastern Ontario, Durham Region, and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph. Whereas their first visits focused on educating businesses, follow-up visits will focus on enforcement, including issuing orders and tickets.
Inspector visits to the York Region will take place March 5th and 6th. Windsor Essex can expect visits on March 6th. And, the Waterloo Region can expect an inspection blitz from March 11th to the 16th
For more details, please see Ontario’s new release on this here.

Updated February 16, 2021: Yesterday, a number of PHUs moved out of Grey/Lockdown and back into the (colour zones). Please see the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework webpage for details on the PHUs and reminder of retail requirements for each colour zone.

Updated February 15, 2021: The province has expanded the eligibility of its Main Street Relief Grant to business with 2 to 19 employees (expanded from 2 to 9 employees). This one-time grant reimburses main street businesses for up to $1,000 in PPE costs incurred since March 17, 2020. For finer details on the grant and to apply, visit here

Updated February 8, 2021: Following Ontario Premier Ford’s announcement of gradual re-opening guidelines for the province, we wanted to share these key highlights:

  • The public health units (PHU) of Hastings Prince Edward Public Health; Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health; and Renfrew County and District Health Unit will go to the Green-Prevent framework as of Wednesday at 12:01am. Retail requirements for the Green, Yellow and Orange Zones include:
    • Passive screening: signage must be posted at entrances
    • COVID-19 Safety Plan: have and post (we are seeking clarity on what Ontario means by “post”)
    • Maintaining physical distancing and mask-wearing
  • Every other PHU with the exception of Toronto, Peel and York is on pace to be put back into the Green/Yellow/Orange/Red/Grey framework as of next Tuesday (February 16th). These PHUs will be slotted accordingly based on the case data that the province has at the time. If a PHU is moved to Red, retail requirements include:
    • Operating capacity for c-stores increased to 75% (up from 50%); maximum number of customers allowed must be publicly posted
    • Passive screening: signage must be posted at entrances
    • COVID-19 Safety Plan: have and post (we are seeking clarity on what Ontario means by “post”)
    • Maintaining physical distancing and mask-wearing
  • Toronto, Peel and York is on pace to remain in Grey-Lockdown until February 22nd. It doesn’t mean that these areas will be out of Grey Lockdown, but rather that the Stay-At-Home Order will be lifted, and they will be slotted accordingly based on the data that the province has at the time. The biggest change in this announcement for Grey-Lockdown zone is that a non-essential stores will be allowed to open with limited capacity (25%). C-stores may continue to operate at the previously set 50% capacity. Other retail requirements include:
    • Maximum number of customers allowed must be publicly posted
    • Passive screening: signage must be posted at entrances
    • COVID-19 Safety Plan: have and post (we are seeking clarity on what Ontario means by “post”)
    • Maintaining physical distancing and mask-wearing

Also, the province is introducing an emergency brake. If a PHU is at risk or rising rapidly, the Chief Medical Officer (Dr. Williams) in consultation with the local medical officer of health can put a zone into Grey-Lockdown immediately. We are clarifying whether this takes effect immediately or on February 22nd when the last three PHUs leave the Stay-At-Home Order. Full details on retail requirements can be read here.

Updated February 2, 2021: Inspection blitz in Halton region from February 2 to 5. Provincial offences officers will be visiting business and a variety of workplaces across Halton region between today and Friday, February 5. The primary focus of the blitz is to educate employers and staff on the latest guidance to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace and how to stay safe. Provincial offences officers may issue tickets to businesses and patrons who are not in compliance with measures set out in the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

The targeted businesses and workplaces will include retail establishments, restaurants providing take-out, essential service-sector establishments, warehouse and storage facilities, agricultural operations and food production facilities and construction and manufacturing operations. Provincial offences officers will be conducting workplace inspections in areas with higher risks for transmission and will be enforcing adherence to capacity limits, physical distancing, mask and face coverings and having a visible, accessible safety plan.

Updated January 12, 2021: Effectively immediately, Ontario has declared a province-wide State of Emergency, which will hold for at least 28 days. New measures include the requirement to wear masks in outdoor spaces when social distancing is not possible and a stay-at-home order. Current regulations states that Ontarians may only leave their homes for grocery store, pharmacy, accessing health-care services, for exercise or for essential work. Convenience stores are not subject to the restricted/condensed service hours (7am to 8pm). In other words, c-stores may remain open per their regular hours

Updated December 21, 2020: Ontario announced the province-wide shutdown that is to be begin at 12:01am on December 26th. For Southern Ontario, this lockdown ends January 23, 2021. For Northern Ontario (Algoma, North Bay, North Western, Porcupine, Sudbury, Timiskaming, and Thunder Bay), the lockdown ends January 9, 2021. Still considered essential businesses, convenience stores may continue to remain open but must operate at 50% capacity. Stores must post a sign in a location visible to the public that states the maximum capacity they are permitted to operate under. Leading up to December 26th, districts must still follow the colour-coded framework regulations.
The government also announced the Small Business Support Grant. Please note that as an essential business, convenience stores are not eligible for this support.

Updated November 20, 2020: Late Friday afternoon, Ontario announced lockdowns for Toronto and Peel Region for a period of 28 days starting Monday, November 23. Even with these new plans, convenience stores are still deemed as essential but must operate at 50% capacity. View the regulation here

Updated November 16, 2020: Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant to help small businesses recover the costs for personal protective equipment is now open for applications. The Grant provides up to $1,000 for PPE costs for eligible small businesses across the province with two to nine employees. For grant details and to apply, visit here.

Updated October 23, 2020: Following Ontario and New Brunswick’s province-wide mandatory mask orders, we have updated our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List.

Updated July 20, 2020: Our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List now includes requirements for the Ontario cities and regions of Hamilton, Halton, and Middlesex-London.  

Updated July 15, 2020: We have updated our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List to include the requirements of the City of St. Catherines and the Hastings Prince Edward Region, Ontario.

Updated July 10, 2020: Our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List now includes information for the Peel and York Regions, Ontario as well as the current status for other provinces.

Updated July 9, 2020: We have updated our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List to now include requirements for Haliburton County, the City of Kawartha, Northumberland County, and Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka. 

Shared July 8, 2020: Some municipalities have ordered that face masks be worn inside stores. To assist our members comply with the varying requirements and enforcement dates, CICC has compiled this list of regional requirements. We will update the details as information become available.

Updated June 3, 2020: For current cross-country re-opening updates, please view our Full Brief.

Updated May 25, 2020: Further services are re-opening across the country. View our Full brief for detailed information on re-opening plans across the nation. 

Updated May 7, 2020: Ontario and Quebec have announced updates to their re-opening plans. View our updates here and here



Quebec

Updated May 18, 2021: The province has announced that it expects to lift curfews on Friday, May 28th. Until then and even after the lifting of curfews, mask wearing and social distancing in stores is still required.
If by the end of August the province reaches its target of having 75% of Quebecers aged 12+ fully vaccinated (two doses), the measures of mask wearing and distancing may also be lifted.

Updated May 5, 2021: Quebec Premier Legault announced an update to measures across the province. Measures concerning our sector:
– Starting tomorrow, May 6th, emergency measures are in place for Granit region in Estrie (Lac Mégantic): non-essential businesses must close and the region’s curfew stands at 8pm.
– Starting May 10th: the curfew for Quebec City, Lévis, Bellechasse and Montmagny-L’Islet regions moves to 9:30pm and non-essential businesses will be reopening.
– From May 10th : Abitibi-Témiscamingue moves to Yellow ending any curfew measures.  
– The province’s first drive-through vaccination site will open at Montreal-Trudeau Airport on May 17th. Appointments are required.
For further details on the updates measures for the above regions, please visit the provincial site here
A reminder that from last Friday (April 30th) to Friday, May 14th, vaccines are available to all adults from 59 to 18 years old. New appointment slots will be available every other day for age groups in 5-year increments.  This week, the vaccine campaign will cover 50 to 30 year olds.

Updated April 21, 2021: The special emergency measures (including the 8pm curfew) in Quebec City, Chaudière-Appalaches, and Outaouais regions have been extended until May 2nd. For now, number of cases in other regions are stable or declining. The government has not yet indicated what it intends to do elsewhere regarding curfew hours after the deadline of Sunday April 25th. We will share an update as news comes to us.

Updated April 9, 2021: Quebec now mandates that face masks that are medical-grade or certified by the Bureau de Normalization du Quebec (BNQ) must be worn in all workplaces (indoors and outdoors). Cloth and non-medical masks are no longer acceptable.
Per this La Presse article (in French), the province’s Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) has made the additional requirement that workers in indoor workplaces must wear their mask continuously while at work in addition to maintaining physical distancing and using physical barriers. For employees in outdoor workspaces, a medical-grade mask must be worn if two-metre distancing cannot occur. 
If you are wondering what types of masks to source, we understand that they have to be Grade 1 or 3.

Updated April 8, 2021: Premier Legault just announced the below changes to measures for various areas in Quebec:
Quebec-Lévis, Chaudière-Appalaches, Beauce, and Gatineau: for these regions, the 8pm curfew will remain in place until April 19th.
Montreal and Laval: the curfew in these regions will roll back to 8pm starting Sunday, April 11thto April 19th.
Estrie: currently no changes, but the region is under surveillance. If cases persist, restriction changes are expected.
A reminder that lottery sales for all c-stores (stores with gas stations and not) must close 30 minutes before the curfew time.
Though c-stores with gas stations may remain open after the curfew time, a reminder that they cannot sell lottery, tobacco, and alcohol after this time.

Updated March 31, 2021: It was announced today that the regions of Quebec, Chaudière-Appalaches, Outaouais and Bas-Saint-Laurent will return to Red Zone from April 1 to April 12. Yet, in all regions, the curfew remains at 9:30pm except in the specific cases of the cities of Quebec-Lévis, Gatineau, and the Regional County Municipality of Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais where the curfew will be in effect from 8 p.m. According to the government, the situation is changing rapidly, and other restrictive measures could be announced shortly.

Updated March 16, 2021: Quebec Premier Legault announced curfew and colour zone changes for various regions in the province:
Starting tomorrow, Wed. March 17th: zone colour designations remain the same (i.e. Montreal and surrounding areas remain in Red) however, the curfew time for the entire province will be 9:30pm. Non-gas c-stores can remain open until the 9:30pm but must close lottery sales at 9:00pm to allow employees to return home before curfew. C-stores with gas stations may remain open after 9:30pm but cannot sell tobacco, alcohol, or lottery after this time.
–   From Friday, March 26th: the regions of Côte-Nord, Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine, and Nord-du-Québec will move to Yellow. These regions will not be bound by any curfew or any curfew-related retail restrictions.

Updated March 3, 2021: Quebec Premier Legault announced that starting Monday, March 8th all regions in the province, except the Greater Montreal and surrounding areas, will be classified as Orange. C-stores with gas may remain open after the 9:30pm curfew. Lottery sales in all c-stores in Orange areas must close at 9:00pm to allow employees of non-gas c-stores to return home. 
Montréal, Laval, la Montérégie, les Laurentides et Lanaudière remain in Red. C-stores with gas in these areas may remain open after the 8pm curfew. Lottery sales in all c-stores in Red must close at 7:30pm to allow employees of non-gas c-stores to return home.

Updated February 16, 2021: Premier Legault confirmed in his press release last night that the Outaouais region, which includes Hull and Gatineau, will move to the Orange level on Monday, February 22nd. Stores in this zone must close lottery sales and its doors at 9:00pm to allow employees to return home before the 9:30pm curfew.

Updated February 2, 2021: Minister Legault announced updates to restrictions in Quebec. For the most part, restrictions and requirements remain the same for convenience stores. The only notable change is that from February 8th to 22nd, the curfew start time for regions at the Orange Level (Gaspésie-Iles de la Madeleine, Bas-St Laurent, Abitibi, Côte Nord, Lac St-Jean, northern Quebec) has moved to 9:30pm.

Updated January 6, 2021: This evening, Quebec Premier Legault announced new measures that will be in place for four weeks starting Saturday, January 9 and ending February 8, the most significant being a curfew that will be in effect from 8pm to 5am. For our convenience stores, affects include:

  • c-store employees’ shift must end at 7:30pm so that they are able to respect the curfew
  • the Quebec government will be providing a special pass for workers that need to travel to and  from their workplace past curfew; these passes should be available in the next few days
  • dépanneurs operating a gas station will be allowed to remain open beyond the curfew are to sell all products except alcoholic beverages past 8pm
  • c-stores will not be held responsible for policing clients who should not be out during curfew
  • store gas stations will not be permitted to deliver during curfew hours.

For further details about the new measures, please visit the province’s webpages here and here.   

Updated December 15: Quebec Premier Legault announced lockdown plans for the province for the period of December 25th to January 11th. Here is what we know so far:
–  Non-essential businesses to close throughout the province.
–  Convenience stores are listed as priority commercial enterprises that may remain open during this lockdown period.
–  “Big box” stores such as Costcos and Walmarts can only sell essential items in order to create an equity for small businesses.
–  An explicit list of “essential vs non-essential items” has not yet been published. However, the list of priority commercial enterprises (above) notes that “only the sale of essential products, usually sold in the commercial enterprises included in this list, is authorized. Store operators must ensure that the necessary steps are taken to prevent access to and the sale of other products.” Members could use this as a guide on what is permitted for sale in convenience stores.

Updated December 3: Quebec’s intensified measures for retail stores go into effect starting tomorrow, December 4th. Measurements include a restriction on the number of customers in a store. The store’s new maximum capacity depends on its size (one customer per 20m2). Fines for non-compliance range from $1,000 to $6,000 for offenders. Further details on the capacity restriction and guidelines on calculating capacity can be found here. Capacity must be clearly displayed. Printable signs are available in both English and French are available here.

Updated July 13, 2020: Our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List now includes information following Quebec Premier’s announcement that masks will be mandatory starting Saturday, July 18. The List also now includes details for the Cities of Hamilton and Sudbury, Ontario.

Updated June 3, 2020: For current cross-country re-opening updates, please view our Full Brief.

Updated May 25, 2020: Further services are re-opening across the country. View our Full brief for detailed information on re-opening plans across the nation. 

Updated May 13, 2020: Some Quebec lottery terminals have begun to reopen with sales moving to online online. View our Full Brief for detailed information on re-opening plans across the nation. View our Coast to Coast Update for a quick summary.

Updated May 7, 2020: Ontario and Quebec have announced updates to their re-opening plans. View our updates here and here

Updated May 5, 2020: The Quebec government has postponed the reopening of non-essential businesses in the greater Montreal region by a week (from May 11 to May 18). See our Coast to Coast Update for a snapshot of developments across the country and our Loosening Restrictions Brief for a more comprehensive summary.

Shared April 7, 2020: Quebec Government Announces Supplement for Retail Employees in Essential Services



Newfoundland Labrador

Updated February 12, 2021: Alert Level 5 was announced tonight for the entire province of Newfoundland Labrador. This is the same lockdown as April 2020. The rising case count is apparently mostly the new variant, which is very concerning. Retail stores that are permitted to remain open are not permitted to sell scratch or break open lotto tickets in store. We do not currently see any retail capacity limits listed online, but we will follow this closely and update accordingly.

Updated August 19, 2020: Our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List now includes details of Newfoundland Labrador’s mask order, which comes into effect on August 24th.

Shared July 8, 2020: Some municipalities have ordered that face masks be worn inside stores. To assist our members comply with the varying requirements and enforcement dates, CICC has compiled this list of regional requirements. We will update the details as information become available.

Updated June 3, 2020: For current cross-country re-opening updates, please view our Full Brief.

Updated May 25, 2020: Further services are re-opening across the country. View our Full brief for detailed information on re-opening plans across the nation. 

Updated May 13, 2020: Newfoundland and Labrador have moved to its Level 4. View our Full Brief for detailed information on re-opening plans across the nation. View our Coast to Coast Update for a quick summary.



New Brunswick

Updated May 28, 2021: This afternoon, New Brunswick released its Path to Green reopening plans:

  • Phase 1:
    • The first phase of the province’s Path to Green (level) is expected to start on June 7th so long as 75% of New Brunswickers aged 12+ have received their first vaccination, case and hospitalizations remain low, and health zones remain at Yellow
    • Mask wearing and physical distancing still required
  • Phase 2:
    • Expected to begin July 1st if 75% of 12+ have first vaccination + 20% of folks aged 65+ have received 2nd vaccination
    • Atlantic Bubble expected to open
    • Mask wearing and physical distancing still required
  • Phase 3:
    • Expected to begin August 2nd if 75% of folks aged 12+ have 2nd vaccination and health zones are at Green
    • Mandatory Order ends
    • No requirements or measures

For more details on New Brunswick’s Path to Green, see the plan here and read the news release here.

Updated April 24, 2021: The province has published details clarifying the modified isolation requirements for New Brunswick trucker and cross-border commuters. Under the modified isolation requirements, truckers are able to return to work thereby not affecting the movement of goods as negatively as we initially understood.
To summarize the modified isolation requirements, upon return to the province, for 14 days, a trucker may leave his or her home only for work, medical reasons, and to obtain necessities of life (food, medication) through contactless means (curbside pickup). When not at work, a trucker/commuter can stay with family, who do not have to isolate, but they should follow public health guidelines and minimize contact with others. All travellers entering New Brunswick, including truck drivers who regularly cross borders, must register their travel online or by calling 1-833-948-2800.

Updated April 23, 2021: The province held a press conference  announcing isolation requirements for travelers, including NEW requirements for truckers and commuters. Here is what has been communicated as of Friday afternoon:
– Starting Saturday at 11:59pm, truck drivers and commuters that regularly cross borders will be required to stay-home for 14-days upon returning to the province except to “meet medical needs or to obtain necessities of life” so long as they can do while avoiding contact with others by using curbside pickup or delivery. 
This new rule applies whether the individual has been vaccinated or not.
– All travellers entering New Brunswick, including truck drivers who regularly cross borders, must register their travel online or by calling 1-833-948-2800.
– While self-isolating, truck drivers and commuters should stay away from other members of their household as much as possible.
– This new measure is expected to remain in place until late May.
– People who do follow these rules (and other mandated measures) will now be fined $580 (increase from $292).
– Full details of this and other requirements for travelers into NB can be read the province’s news release here

If these new rules are implemented the impact on our channel and the entire supply chain for the province will be massive. CICC has already engaged with senior officials to communicate the completely unworkable nature of these changes.

Updated February 8, 2021: New Brunswick loosens restrictions in two zones: following low case numbers in the respective regions, Edmundston (Zone 4) moves from lockdown to red alert level, and Moncton (Zone 1) moves from red to orange alert level as of midnight tonight. Throughout the province, no matter the alert level, masks are mandatory in convenience stores and in outdoor public spaces when physical distancing of two metres can’t be maintained (e.g. potentially gas pumps).

Updated February 2, 2021: As we shared earlier, retail stores in New Brunswick’s Lockdown (Edmundston) and Red (Moncton) Zones, are required to screen customers before they enter the store. 
While this order has not been changed, CICC has had several conversations with NB Public Safety and senior political staff raising our concern about c-stores having to add staff to just screen customers at the door. We’ve received verbal confirmation that c-stores are not required to have a dedicated greeter/screener and it is permissible to have just one staff person so long as the store has this Screening Poster at the front door and that the one staff person ask customers to acknowledge they’ve read the poster.
Unfortunately, enforcement decisions are still left to local inspectors. Consequently, please keep CICC informed if any of your stores encounter inspsectors giving warnings or fines for not having specific staff at the door.  

Updated January 26, 2021: New Brunswick announced new mandatory orders, which came into effect Sunday, January 24th. The most significant changes to requirements pertain to Zone 4 (Edmundston), which is now in lockdown, and Zones 1 to 3 (Moncton, Saint John, and Fredericton), which are currently in Red Level.

In the locked down area of Zone 4 only essential businesses (including convenience stores) may remain open but are allowed to only sell essential items. Retailers must restrict in-store shopping to solely essential items. Lottery tickets are not permitted to be sold in-store. Full lockdown measures can be viewed here with restrictions in place for a minimum of 14 days.

Currently, the areas of Edmundston (lockdown) and Moncton, Saint John, and Fredericton (Red Level) are required to conduct active screening of staff and customers before they enter the store. However, it is expected that at midnight of January 26, Saint John and Fredericton will go back to the Orange Level, where active screening is not required.

Members with stores in these zones are required to have a dedicated person to screen customers before entry.

Updated November 25: Our Mandatory Mask Requirements List now includes the early details of New Brunswick’s indoor and outdoor mask-wearing requirements for Zones 1 and 2.

Updated November 23, 2020: New Brunswick Zones 1 (Moncton region) and 2 (Saint John region) are in the province’s Orange Alert Level. Amongst other measures, people must wear a mask while in indoor and outdoor public spaces. For our members with gas stations, customers must wear a mask at the gas pump. We are awaiting clarity on compliance responsibility and will share when information comes to us.

Updated October 23, 2020: Following Ontario and New Brunswick’s province-wide mandatory mask orders, we have updated our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List.

Shared July 8, 2020: Some municipalities have ordered that face masks be worn inside stores. To assist our members comply with the varying requirements and enforcement dates, CICC has compiled this list of regional requirements. We will update the details as information become available.

Updated June 3, 2020: For current cross-country re-opening updates, please view our Full Brief.

Updated May 25, 2020: Further services are re-opening across the country. View our Full brief for detailed information on re-opening plans across the nation. 

Updated May 8, 2020: New Brunswick has announced updates to their re-opening plans. View our full brief for details on re-opening plans across the nation. For a quick summary, see our Coast to Coast Update.



Nova Scotia

Updated May 28, 2021: The province announced their reopening plans. For our channel, retail restrictions, will ease as the reopening progresses:

  • Phase 1: begins June 2nd
    • The current 25% retail capacity continues
    • Mask wearing and physical distancing still required
  • Phase 2: begins 2 to 4 weeks after Phase 1 (if case and hospitalization numbers continue to drop)
    • 50% retail capacity
    • Mask wearing and physical distancing still required
  • Phase 3: begins 2 to 4 weeks after Phase 2 (if case and hospitalization numbers continue to drop)
    • 75% retail capacity
    • Mask wearing and physical distancing still required
    • Atlantic Bubble will reopen, depending on vaccine status, case count of other provinces, and border testing strategy
  • Phase 4: begins 2 to 4 weeks after Phase 3 (if very few cases and little ongoing spread)
    • COVID testing will continue
    • Maximum retail capacity 
    • Mask wearing and physical distancing still required
    • Canadian travellers from outside Atlantic region can enter, depending on vaccine status, case count of other provinces, and border testing strategy
  • Phase 5: no timeline presented
    • COVID testing will continue
    • Continued easing of measures and restrictions

Updated May 7, 2021: Starting Monday, May 10 at 8am, new border measures will be in effect until at least the end the month:
– Border will close to people intending to move to the province
– Border will close to people from PEI and NFLD (the border was previously closed to non-essential travel from other provinces)
– Border will remain open for:
– Permanent residents returning to the province
– People who work outside the province
– People who are exempt from self-isolation, following the exempt traveler protocol (ex: long-haul truck drivers)

Starting Saturday, May 8th at 8am, the following shopping and retail restrictions take effect:
– Nova Scotians must designate one shopper per household
– Retail stores that offer in-person shopping must impose a limit of one shopper per household; exceptions will be made for children and caregivers
– In-store capacity for stores that primarily offer products and services that are essential to life, health, or personal safety of people and animals is limited to 25%
– To minimize cross exposures, it is recommended keeping consistent employee ‘shifts’. We read this to also suggest keeping any employee ‘pairings’ consistent.

For more details and the full list of Nova Scotia’s restrictions, please read their news release here.

Updated April 22, 2021: Nova Scotia has just announced tighter restrictions for the Halifax Regional Municipality and the communities of Hubbards, Milford, Lantz, Elmsdale, Enfield, South Uniacke, Ecum Secum, and Trafalgar. The restrictions are in effect starting 8am tomorrow and will remain in place for at least one month (May 20th) with a review in a two weeks. Amongst the restrictions, retail businesses can remain open but must operate at 25 per cent capacity and must follow other public health measures.

Updated April 21, 2021: The province is placing additional travel restrictions, which come into effect starting April 22 at 8am. People outside Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland Labrador will not be allowed to enter the province unless for essential travel or are permanent residents of Nova Scotia. Essential travel includes:
– people who live in Nova Scotia but their primary employment is in another province
– federally approved temporary foreign workers
– people who need to participate in-person in a legal proceeding in another province
– post-secondary students coming to study in Nova Scotia
– post-secondary students returning to their primary or family residence in Nova Scotia and parents who accompany them
– parents picking up a student in Nova Scotia to take them home as quickly as possible
– people who can demonstrate that they already have a new permanent address in Nova Scotia as of April 21 and are moving here permanently
– people who are exempt from self-isolation following the exempt traveler protocol
– people traveling between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for work, school or children in child care, following conditions in the protocol for travel between these provinces

Updated April 7, 2021: Nova Scotia is allowing all retail businesses to operate at 100% capacity (from 75%). Also, NS has opened its border to visitors from Newfoundland Labrador. This means that visitors from all other Atlantic provinces can enter Nova Scotia without self-isolating on arrival.

Updated February 8, 2021: Retail businesses can now operate at 75% capacity. This and other eased public health restrictions will be in effect until at least March 7.

Updated July 27, 2020: We have updated our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List to now include early details following Nova Scotia’s announcement that masks will be mandatory province-wide from July 31st. 

Shared July 8, 2020: Some municipalities have ordered that face masks be worn inside stores. To assist our members comply with the varying requirements and enforcement dates, CICC has compiled this list of regional requirements. We will update the details as information become available.

Updated June 3, 2020: For current cross-country re-opening updates, please view our Full Brief.

Updated May 25, 2020: Further services are re-opening across the country. View our Full brief for detailed information on re-opening plans across the nation. 



Prince Edward Island

Updated May 28, 2021: Earlier today, PEI announced its Moving Forward reopening plan:

  • Step 1: estimated to begin June 6th
    • Mask wearing and physical distancing still required
  • Step 2: estimated to begin June 27th
    • Atlantic Bubble expected to open 
    • Mask wearing and physical distancing still required
  • Step 3: estimated to begin July 18th
    • Mask wearing requirements will ease
  • Step 4: estimated to begin August 8th
    • Domestic travel outside Atlantic region permitted
  • Step 5: estimated to begin September 12th
    • Physical distancing and mask wearing measures to ease
    • Business restrictions lifted
    • Travel restrictions and measures eased


Please see PEI’s Moving Forward webpage and PDF of the plan for further details.

Updated March 16, 2021: Prince Edward Island’s chief public health officer announced that Islanders between the ages of 18 and 29 that work in convenience stores and gas stations can immediately start booking appointments to get a COVID-19 vaccine. For this age group, this opportunity is opening two weeks earlier than the April start we had shared on Friday afternoon.

Updated March 12, 2021: As front-line essential workers who cannot work virtually, convenience store employees and gas station attendants have been identified as eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as part of Phase 2. These employees will be able to registering for vaccinations starting in April. For more details on PEI’s roll out plan, please visit here.

Updated January 23, 2021: Retail stores across the province are allowed to operate at capacity so long as they maintain measures such as physical distancing and mask wearing.

Updated November 20, 2020: Since announcing their mandatory mask order, PEI has shared further details on requirements and exceptions, as well as our links to sample store signage. View our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List to see details.

Updated November 17, 2020: Our Mandatory Mask By-Laws List now includes details for Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan (municipalities with populations over 5,000 people), and an update on British Columbia’s mask wearing expectations.

Shared July 8, 2020: Some municipalities have ordered that face masks be worn inside stores. To assist our members comply with the varying requirements and enforcement dates, CICC has compiled this list of regional requirements. We will update the details as information become available.

Updated June 3, 2020: For current cross-country re-opening updates, please view our Full Brief.

Updated May 25, 2020: Further services are re-opening across the country. View our Full brief for detailed information on re-opening plans across the nation. 



National / Coast to Coast

Shared May 5, 2020: Do you still have questions about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)?
– Visit here to understand if you are eligible.
– To understand how the subsidy is calculated, view this CRA quick reference sheet.
– For instructions on how to apply for the CEWS, visit here.

Updated May 1, 2020: As some provinces begin to ease restrictions to reopen the economy, CICC will continue to to keep you up-to-date on provincial plans and any effects to the convenience channel. Our Coast to Coast Updateprovides a snapshot on developments across the country. A more comprehensive summary can be viewed here.

Shared April 14, 2020: Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy Update

Updated April 6, 2020: Coast to Coast Update on Convenience and Gas Retailers as Essential Services

Released March 25, 2020: Canadian Emergency Response Bill (CERB Support) Passed



General Information

Updated June 3, 2020: If you are looking for PPE products to purchase for your stores and businesses, please see this list of suppliers. Kindly note that in sharing these details, CICC is not endorsing any of the suppliers. 

Shared April 14, 2020: CICC’s Be Kind Poster: guidelines for customers to follow to keep shoppers, store employees, and communities safe. Also available in French.

Shared April 9, 2020: If you a retailer receiving inconsistent messaging from visiting health department inspectors, help CICC help you. Please record and share your inspection experience with us via this tracking document. CICC will share these with health bodies so that can provide consistent guidance to their inspectors.

Shared March 27, 2020: Retail Council of Canada’s SOP for Managing an Incident of an Identified COVID-19 Case at Your Location

Released March 19, 2020: Best Practices for Convenience Retailers

Released March 18, 2020: CICC Summary of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Released March 17, 2020: A Word from CICC on COVID-19