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RTO7's COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update & Resources


Update #11 - March 27, 2020
 

Announcements
From 
Minister Lisa MacLeod 
Tele-Townhall

 
Yesterday Minister Lisa MacLeod announced a series of initiatives to industry stakeholders on a tele-townhall conference call. You can read the Minister's statement below.

Statement from Minister MacLeod:
  1. I’ve re-purposed the Tourism Development Fund to the Tourism Development and Recovery Fund and increased the fund from $500,000 to $1.5 Million
  2. I’m working with industry partners on an online marketplace and town centre for all Ontarians to access concerts, art, digital gallery and museum tours and attraction prepurchases. I’ve made an initial investment of $150,000 to match community contributions to give musicians a platform to do concerts from the safety of their homes. 
  3. Destination Ontario is actively working on a marketing program that will let the world know that when they are ready to travel and when we are a safe environment to accept them back, we will be ready. 
  4. Our government will be allowing all licensed restaurants, bars and pubs to sell and deliver unopened alcohol at their establishments.
  5. We have provided lists of Hotels to MOH, MOLTC and MCCSS to be used in the event hospitals, LTC's, VAW Centres need capacity due to social distancing. Yesterday’s economic statement earmarked $341 Million if this is required. 
  6. For our film and tv industry we are revising regulations so we can allow contract and freelance workers to receive Ontario’s three refundable film and TV tax credits while at the same time working to streamline the time it takes to complete them. 
  7. For our emerging artists, we are retooling our $7 Million Ontario Music Fund to get more money into your hands immediately during this crisis.
  8. As we know the Olympics have been postponed and many of our sport hosting events have been cancelled. Each year we invest $10 Million into our athletes through Quest for Gold and Sport Hosting events. Despite these postponements and cancellations this money will still be available. 
  9. Celebrate, OAC, OCAF or Trillium Grant will flow even if events are forced to cancel. We will invest almost $200 Million in 2020.
  10. Local libraries, community museums and our governments agencies and attractions will see their money flow very quickly so when it is safe to do so, they can open their doors again to the public.
(source:  March 26, 2020 TIAO Newsletter)

TIAO Provincial Survey #2 Report, March 26, 2020

Key Findings
The following statistics reflect the impact on our industry as collected through our province wide survey from March 18th to 23rd, 20205:
  • 51% of tourism businesses are closed temporarily.
  • More than 27% of businesses are at risk of closing permanently in 3 months’ time.
  • 67% of tourism businesses are at risk of closing temporarily in 3 months’ time.
  • 35% of tourism businesses have laid off staff, and of those 36% have laid off up to 100% off their staff.
  • Nearly 50% of tourism businesses have seen a drop in sales/revenue in their first 3 months of 2020 compared to their first 3 months of 2019.
Please read the entire report, click HERE

Survey Results for RTO7:   We will keep you informed of further major happenings as they become known.  Staying informed, applying and monitoring continuous sanitary practices in both the workplace and at home are important steps to weathering this difficult period of time.
 
RTO7, with support from the Provincial Government and their agencies and our many partners across the region, are committed to providing you, the stakeholders, with as much support as we can.
 
IMPORTANT LINKS & PRIOR RTO7 COMMUNICATIONS  
WHO: Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 (World Health Organization)
WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
TIAC:  Coronavirus - Current situation
RTO7: RTO7's Coronavirus Update & Resources (great resource to share with small businesses & customer facing storefronts) 
Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit: COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Update for Partners - #6
 
Staying informed is a positive step to keeping our tourism industry strong.  Please share these communications with your staff and peers.  We encourage you to recommend to your fellow stakeholders to subscribe to RTO7’s newsletter to ensure they receive these updates.  Visit RTO7.ca and click on “ARE YOU ON OUR MAILING LIST?  SIGN-UP”  or click on this link.
 
We will keep you informed as new and timely information becomes available.

Other Useful Links
Click the Date Link below to access prior Coronavirus communications from RTO7.
 
Prior Communications

Update 10
March 25, 2020 
TELE-TOWNHALL WITH MINISTER LISA MACLEOD
Join Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries for a tele-townhall to discuss the government’s response to COVID-19.  Read the full-length communication HERE

Update 9
March 24, 2020
List of Essential Workplaces
The list includes 74 types of businesses that are listed as essential, please click here for a comprehensive list.  
Read the full-length communication HERE
 
Update 8
March 20, 2020
Important Update - Amendments to the Employment Standards Act
Today, the Ontario Legislature passed the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 to provide job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures or to care for other relatives. A summary of the legislative changes can be found here.  Read the full-length communication HERE
 
Update 7
March 19, 2020
Important Update - Federal COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
Yesterday, the government of Canada announced support for workers and businesses. Please see the statement from the Prime Minister here and the details from Department of Finance Canada here. The announcement included:
Read the full-length communication HERE
 
Survey 2.0
March 18, 2020
NOW MORE THAN EVER YOUR ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED.  
The survey that is linked here is to provide data to the Ministry regarding losses of business and revenue.  The information will be aggregated so there will be no way to tell the origin of the data.  Read the full-length communication HERE
 
Update 6
March 17, 2020
We all know that this is a very fluid situation, that information changes often and we endeavour to continue to provide access to that information. Please keep in mind that sometimes it changes within hours.  Please stay informed by linking with Federal and Provincial announcements to facilitate your planning and reactions.  Read the full-length communication HERE
 
Update 5
March 16, 2020
Knowledge is very important right now. RTO7 is working to gather information from only three sources to ensure that what we are sharing is accurate and up to date.  We source:
  • W.H.O. – World Health Organization
  • Government of Canada Health agencies
  • Province of Ontario Health agencies
The information we share in summaries are meant to give you a head start. Please do not rely on the summaries as the ‘be all and end all’ of information; use the links to stay informed and to share.
Read the full-length communication HERE
 
 
Update 4
March 12, 2020 - SURVEY 1.0
Yesterday in our update we alerted you to a survey being sent out, please click on this link to access the survey.  All RTOs will be sending this same survey to all of their stakeholders that they have contact information for: tourism, culture, heritage, sport operators, DMOs, festivals and events, local governmental officials, etc. 
Read the full length communication HERE
 
Update 3
March 11, 2020
This communication is being sent in continuation of our updates on COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  The sharing of information continues throughout the tourism community.  Please find following a series of links to new and past publications that are pertinent to the tourism and tourism related industries.
Read the full-length communication HERE
 
Update 2
March 5, 2020
 organizations have started sharing information and recommended practices to support businesses through this period.  We are sharing links to that information with you. Some of the information will apply to you and your operation directly and some will be peripheral in nature but useful to know.  
Read the full-length communication HERE
 
Update 1
March 3, 2020
The Province of Ontario has set up a website that is updated daily with information on the Coronavirus in the province.  A useful resource for tourism operators, attractions, business owners and accommodators is this list posted on the provincial website, How to Protect Yourself
Read the full-length communication HERE
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