Skip to main content
This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies as described in our privacy policy.
Bulletin | Covid-19

Long Weekend Workplace Wrap-up on COVID-19 for May 16, 17 and 18, 2020

Reading Time 6 minute read

Labour, Employment & Human Rights Bulletin

Below are the key government announcements made on May 16, 17 and 18, 2020 that touch on workplace issues. We also summarize "in case you missed it" ("ICYMI") stories from the previous week. Our daily and weekend overviews of previous government announcements, employment analyses and other COVID-19 information are available here

The Federal Government

No major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on May 18, 2020.

ICYMI: On May 15, 2020, the government announced a number of updates to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.


The Chief Medical Officer of Health released CMOH Order 22-2020 (PDF) which reverses the previously-announced requirement that businesses wishing to operate complete a COVID-19 operational plan. A template plan remains available, though its completion is now voluntary.

ICYMI: On May 11, 2020, the government released a new online resource for Alberta businesses and employers as part of its relaunch strategy.

British Columbia

The Provincial Health Officer provided notice (PDF) that personal service establishments, such as spas, hair salons, and massage therapy businesses, may operate effective May 19, 2020.

The Provincial Health Officer amended the Order (PDF) for restaurants and other places of business where meals and drinks are served. The amended order permits in-person dining and beverage services, provided certain environmental and physical distancing requirements are met.

WorkSafeBC published guidance documents and templates (PDF) for employer COVID-19 Safety Plans, which are required by the Provincial Health Officer.

WorkSafeBC also published a number of guidance documents for arts and cultural facilities, health professional services, in person counselling services, public education services, offices, personal services, restaurants, and retail operations.   

 ICYMI: On May 15, 2020, the Provincial Health Officer published an order requiring employers to develop COVID-19 worksite safety plans.


The government announced the extension of the fundraising deadline under the Manitoba Heritage Trust Program.

The government also announced a Manitoba Works Capital Incentive program. The program provides incremental education property tax rebates if businesses meet certain eligibility criteria. 

ICYMI: On May 13, 2020, the government announced the launch of a new online marketplace to connect Manitoba businesses with suppliers of non-medical grade personal protective equipment and other materials required for businesses as they reopen.

New Brunswick

No major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on May 18, 2020.

ICYMI: On May 12, 2020, the government announced its plans to reopen various provincial parks and other major tourism attractions in accordance with Phase 2 of New Brunswick's Recovery Plan.

Newfoundland and Labrador

On May 16, 2020, the Chief Medical Officer of Health issued the Special Measures Order (Self-Isolation Exemption Order) (PDF). The Self-Isolation Exemption Order exempts the following individuals from the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the province from elsewhere in Canada while these workers are travelling to and from their home and place of work:

  • asymptomatic workers in the trade, transportation, mining, agriculture, hydro-electric and oil and gas sectors, including truck drivers and crew on any plane, helicopter, train, or marine vessel, including fish harvesting vessels;
  • asymptomatic workers who reside in the province but who work in another province or territory in Canada;
  • asymptomatic workers essential to the critical maintenance of the province's infrastructure in the trade, transportation, health care, agriculture, fishing and aquaculture, hydro-electric, mining and oil and gas sectors; and
  • asymptomatic health care workers essential to the provision of critical health care in the province, including organ retrieval teams, medical flight specialists, crew on any plane serving as an air ambulance or medevac operation.

When not working, these workers must otherwise self-isolate while in the province.

Due to the level of social and economic integration between towns and communities on the Newfoundland and Labrador-Quebec border, including the towns of Fermont and Blanc-Sablon, asymptomatic individuals who cross the border for work, school or health care reasons are also exempted from the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days when arriving in Newfoundland and Labrador from Quebec.

ICYMI: On May 11, 2020, the province entered Alert Level 4, under which a number of public health measures were relaxed to allow more social and business activities.

Nova Scotia

The government published (PDF) its previously-announced order lifting certain outdoor activity restrictions.

ICYMI: On May 15, 2020, the government introduced the "immediate family bubble", permitting two households to merge and spend time together without social distancing.


No major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on May 18, 2020.

ICYMI: On May 14, 2020, the government announced specific businesses would be permitted to reopen, with restrictions, effective Tuesday May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. E.D.T.

Prince Edward Island

No major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on May 18, 2020.

ICYMI: On May 14, 2020, the government began accepting applications from employers for its COVID-19 Support for Essential Workers – Earning $3,000/Month or Less program.


Premier Legault announced:

  • businesses with external access (i.e., an exterior exit) in the greater Montreal area may reopen on May 25, 2020;
  • daycares in the greater Montreal area may reopen on June 1, 2020 (with a maximum capacity of 50%);
  • the government will provide a detailed plan for a return to full surgical services in the health care sector this week; and
  • this week, the government will provide a plan for lifting certain social and group restrictions (though certain rules will remain, including keeping a 2-metre distance).

ICYMI: On May 12, 2020, Premier Legault confirmed that wearing a mask in public is not a legal requirement in Quebec, though it is strongly recommended where individuals cannot maintain a physical distance of 2-metres (except for inside a household).  


No major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on May 18, 2020.

ICYMI: On May 14, 2020, the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan was amended to add guidelines for outfitting operations.

Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Yukon

In the Yukon, the government released its reopening plan A Path Forward: Yukon's plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions (PDF). The plan has three phases. The first phase commenced on May 15, 2020. Most businesses and service providers may now operate, provided that they implement (i) appropriate safety precautions, and (ii) a COVID-19 operational plan. Employers may use the government's COVID-19 Operational Plan template, and consult available guidelines and resources.

The following types of businesses or service providers remain prohibited:

  • bars;
  • personal services (e.g., hair salons, barber shops, tattoo parlours, nail salons, massage therapists, etc.);
  • restaurants for seated service; and
  • non-urgent dental treatment.

While travel restrictions within the Territory are now eased, travel restrictions at the border and self-isolation for returning travellers remain in place.

In the Northwest Territories, phase one of the Territory's reopening plan began on May 15, 2020. The Public Health Order – Covid-19 Relaxing Phase 1 (PDF) and the territory's reopening plan (PDF) are available online.

There were no major government updates in Nunavut as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on May 18, 2020.

 ICYMI: On May 14, 2020, in the Northwest Territories, the Education, Culture and Employment Minister and education stakeholders (including the Territory's teachers' union) agreed to keep schools closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. On May 14, 2020, in the Yukon, the government introduced a new Leave (COVID-19) Regulation, under which an eligible employee can take a 14-day unpaid leave related to COVID-19.

    Sign up for updates from this team

    Receive email updates from our team