COVID-19 Update for January 26 – 1:30PM
More Travel Restrictions Coming
This morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau teased that more travel restrictions are coming in the next few days, but re-iterated that this is not the time for Canadians to be travelling — whether internationally or to another province. Adding that “every case is a case too many,” Trudeau urged Canadians to cancel any existing travel plans.
Vaccines Remain on Schedule
Trudeau also assured Canadians that our contracts with Moderna and Pfizer will be fulfilled as planned. He said once again that by September all Canadians who want a vaccine will be able to get one.
Low-Interest Loans for Businesses
The Prime Minister also said that the federal government has partnered with Canada’s largest financial organizations on the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP), which was first announced in the government’s fall economic statement. Available to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, HASCAP makes low-interest loans — fully backed by the government — up to $ 1 million available to businesses. The funding can be used to cover rent, utilities costs or even payroll.
Hard-hit businesses, like a chain of hotels or restaurants with multiple locations under one related entity, could be eligible for up to $6.25 million.
To be eligible for HASCAP, businesses need to show a year-over-year revenue decline of at least 50 per cent in three months, within the eight months prior to their application. They must also be able to show their financial institutions that they have previously applied for either the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is calling on Ottawa to require mandatory testing of all incoming international passengers and to impose a temporary ban on direct flights from countries where new COVID-19 variants are detected.
Ontario is also asking the federal government “to strengthen enforcement of quarantine measures,” including exploring new approaches such as isolation hotels, “to ensure compliance with the 14-day minimum quarantine requirement for incoming travellers.”