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COVID Resources

Tourism Saskatchewan understands that these are unprecedented times for Saskatchewan’s tourism industry and tourism operators. The COVID-19 pandemic brought financial stress and uncertainty to attractions, businesses, events and other tourism organizations.

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We are working closely with provincial and federal agencies, Destination Canada, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and other industry partners to develop plans and support programs for the industry's recovery.

Email your COVID-19 questions and concerns to questions@tourismsask.com.

Last Updated: August 2, 2022

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Announcements

Vaccine requirements for air and rail travel lifted


The Government of Canada announced 
the suspension of vaccination requirements for domestic and outbound travel, federally regulated transportation sectors, and federal government employees. The suspension takes effect on June 20, 2022.

The change does not affect border measures that require all travellers entering Canada to continue to follow rules for entry. Other public health measures, such as wearing a mask, continue to apply and will be enforced on airplanes and trains.

Randomized testing for vaccinated air travellers eased

The Government of Canada announced the temporary suspension of mandatory randomized testing at airports between June 11-30, 2022. Unvaccinated travellers will still be tested on-site. As of July 1, all testing, including for unvaccinated travellers, will be performed off-site.

 

Travellers entering Canada are encouraged to use ArriveCan to avoid unnecessary delays.  

 

Canada Digital Adoption Program


The Government of Canada
announced the Canada Digital Adoption Program to help small businesses adapt to the digital economy through enhancing their online presence and adopting digital technologies. 

As part of the program, the federal government has partnered with the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Digital Main Street and Economic Development Regina to deliver the Grow Your Business Online grant to small businesses. Micro-grants of up to $2,400 will be available to assist with costs related to adopting e-commerce. Support is available through a network of e-commerce advisors.


Eligible businesses include:

  • registered or incorporated for-profit businesses (including for-profit social enterprises and co-operatives)
  • consumer-facing businesses (virtual or storefront)
  • businesses with a minimum of one employee (full- or part-time)

Micro-grants are available for costs related, but not limited to, the following:

  • implementation or improvement of a digital e-commerce plan (i.e. website development, electronic payment)
  • website search optimization
  • installation of an e-commerce platform (including subscription fees)
  • back-office solutions to support e-commerce strategy
  • social media advertising
  • customer database creation

Interested businesses can submit their contact information and will be notified when the formal application process is open. 

Government of Canada lifts pre-entry test for fully vaccinated travellers


The Government of Canada announced 
removal of the pre-entry COVID-19 test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers. The change took place on April 1, 2022. Travellers arriving from other countries and who qualify as fully vaccinated may be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test, if selected for mandatory random testing. Those selected do not have to quarantine while awaiting the result.

Pre-entry testing results are not changing for partially or unvaccinated travellers.

All travellers continue to be required to submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website) before arrival in Canada. Those who have not completed their ArriveCAN submission may have to test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status. Travellers taking a cruise or a plane must submit their information in ArriveCAN within 72 hours before boarding.

Federal COVID-19 support measures aid hardest hit sectors

The Government of Canada announced support measures for sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving Omicron variant. Two programs summarized below replace the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which ended in October:

 

  • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program -– provides support through wage and rent subsidies to tourism businesses that include hotels, tour operators, travel agencies and restaurants. Eligible applicants can receive a subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent. Qualifying conditions include an average monthly revenue reduction of at least 40 per cent over the first 13 CEWS claim periods and a current month revenue decline also measuring 40 per cent or more.
  • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program – provides support to other organizations through wage and rent subsidies of up to 50 per cent. Qualifying conditions include an average monthly revenue reduction of at least 50 per cent over the first 13 CEWS claim periods and a current month revenue decline also measuring 50 per cent or more.

Additional support measures announced include:

  • Increasing the monthly cap on eligible rent expenses that can be claimed
  • Increasing the subsidy rate for the Canada Recovery Hiring Program from 20 to 50 per cent. 

The programs are in place until May 7, 2022, with authority for further extension until July.

 

Re-Skill Saskatchewan Training Subsidy available

 

The Government of Saskatchewan’s Re-Skill Saskatchewan Training Subsidy (RSTS) is a program that provides employers with financial support to train employees. Private and not-for-profit-sector employers can apply for the subsidy. 

 

Designed to speed economic recovery, the RSTS offers financial assistance for employer-driven, short-term training programs. Its objectives are as follows:

  • Support employers in meeting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Provide enhanced training support to ensure employers are able to access training to sustain business activities, while stimulating competitiveness
  • Reduce obstacles to hiring, retraining and retaining workers to boost the province’s economic recovery

Many tourism and hospitality employers may be eligible for the RSTS, which reimburses employee training costs to a maximum of $5,000.

 

Review the application checklist. Applications will be accepted, assessed and approved based on available funding.

 

Deadline extended for repayment of Canada Emergency Business Account 

The Government of Canada announced an extension of the repayment timeframe for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). The repayment deadline for CEBA loans to qualify for partial loan forgiveness is being extended to December 31, 2023, for all eligible borrowers in good standing

Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2023 will result in loan forgiveness of up to 33 percent (up to $20,000). 

Funding announced for COVID-19 safe events in the arts and music sectors

The Government of Canada announced details of the Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. The fund will assist with the planning and presentation of COVID-19 safe events, both live and digital, in the arts and music sectors. It supports work opportunities for artists and cultural works and helps to stabilize the overall environment.

A total of $181.5 million will be invested in 2021-2022. Funding available through the Canada Council for the Arts will support the creation or adaptation of works to be shared with virtual audiences, as well as research, creation and production of new work through the Explore and Create Program.

The Department of Canadian Heritage is receiving $65 million, including $40 million to support live arts and music events and their digital distribution.

More details are available on the Canadian Heritage website. Applications will be accepted on a continuous intake in 2021-2022.

Saskatchewan hotels invited to participate in STR hotel benchmarking program

A global company, STR provides premier data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for the hospitality industry. To help grow Saskatchewan’s performance sample, hotels across the province are invited to participate in a complimentary programled by STR. The data collected through this program will assist hotel managers and destination marketers to gauge performance trends, make strategic decisions and position properties, businesses and communities for a strong recovery. 

Read more details about data use, confidentiality and advantages to participating businesses.

Sign up for this important program today.

  

Health and Safety

Government of Saskatchewan

COVID Alert App

The Health Canada COVID Alert app is available to Saskatchewan residents. Once downloaded to your smart phone, subscribers may participate in digital COVID-19 exposure alerts. The national COVID Alert app uses Bluetooth technology to detect when users are near each other. If a user tests positive for COVID-19, they can choose to let other users know about potential exposure risk without sharing any personal information. The Health Canada COVID Alert app is available at no cost in the Apple and Google Play app store. For more information, visit www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html.

Public Health Agency of Canada

The World Health Organization (WHO)

Business Operations Support

Saskatchewan Economic Development Authority

The Saskatchewan Economic Development Authority is offering training through its Destination Creation Program.

Government of Canada

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

*please contact your financial institution first if you are not already a BDC member*

Canadian Payroll Association

Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Canadian Federation for Independent Business (CFIB)

Service Hospitality

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Global Affairs Canada

Finance Canada

Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce

Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association

Tourism Recovery

Employee Support

Government of Saskatchewan

Support for workers adversely affected by the COVID-19 situation:

Marketing Support

BC Hughes

Destination Think!

Destination Canada

Recovery Support

Tourism Saskatchewan

Tourism Saskatchewan’s video, "Pathway to Recovery," lays out Tourism Saskatchewan’s phased plan to support the tourism industry through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, through close work with DMOs, CMOs, operators and industry stakeholders. As the Re-open Saskatchewan plan states: "Although the challenge is formidable, it’s one that we’re overcoming by working together."

Tourism Saskatchewan

Pathway to Recovery Training Series

Tourism Saskatchewan’s online Pathway to Recovery Training Series offers 14 comprehensive training programs to keep workplaces operational and adjust to pandemic safety protocols. Each program delivers online, instructor-led training to increase knowledge and improve job skills, and includes pandemic-specific training.

Clean it Right Saskatchewan

Tourism Saskatchewan’s Clean It Right program is a convenient online training tool for tourism businesses. It helps implement clearly defined policies and procedures for cleaning and disinfecting facilities. The online course, available 24-7, is delivered through three custom modules that address the needs of specific industries:

  • Accommodations, including hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts
  • Restaurants and food services
  • Retail businesses

To earn Clean It Right Business certification, a property must have all cleaning staff complete the program. Designated businesses are authorized to display a Clean It Right window decal and electronic logo to reassure the public of a clean and safe environment.

The program is being provided by Tourism Saskatchewan free of charge to all Saskatchewan businesses.

Enrol staff in the training at Business.TourismSaskatchewan.com.

For more information, contact Kari Burgess at 306-933-5913 or 1-800-331-1529, kari.burgess@tourismsask.com.

Saskatchewan Economic Development Authority

The Saskatchewan Economic Development Authority is offering training through its Destination Creation Program. Businesses can apply to the Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant to subsidize these training costs.

Tourism HR Canada

Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Restaurants Canada - Free Webinars and Resources

Destination Think!

Service Hospitality

World Travel and Tourism Council

Webinars, Events and Resources

Tourism Saskatchewan

  • Adapting Your Business: a Strategic Approach. Presenter: Albert Jame, Strategy Director, Zu.com.  
  • Know Your Markets. Presenters: Jonathan Potts, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, Tourism Saskatchewan; Jeannette Lye, Manager of Planning and Research, Tourism Saskatchewan. Learn about Saskatchewan resident’s travel behaviour and media preferences. Find out who is travelling this summer, what they are looking for and how to reach them.  
  • Controlling for COVID-19 with Confidence - thinking beyond the mask and hand sanitizer to develop effective safety precautions. Presenter: Robyn Reist, Senior Specialist, Occupational Health and Safety, RCH Consulting Ltd.  
  • Ramping Up as the Curve Flattens. Presenter: Eva Gutsche, Owner, STEM Consulting & Marketing Inc.  

All Tourism Saskatchewan webinars are posted the Pathways to Recovery playlist.

Government of Canada

World Tourism Organization

Destination Canada

Tourism HR Canada

Museums Association of Saskatchewan

Restaurants Canada - Free Webinars and Resources

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

SafetyCheck - Canadian Food Safety Group

Trans Canada Trail (The Great Trail)

Conference Board of Canada

  • Click here for upcoming webinars and daily updates

Destination Think!

Service Hospitality

Business Development Bank of Canada

Tourism Associations Directory

If you didn't find what you were looking for above, please email your COVID-19 questions and concerns to questions@tourismsask.com.

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