Coronavirus Information | Coronavirus Information

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.

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.

We are here to help. Please contact us. Email your COVID-19 questions and concerns to

A message from the Honourable Gene Makowsky

Click on the links below to go the sections. In addition, check out the Questions and Answers for the tourism industry in Saskatchewan.

LAST UPDATED: May 26. 2020




Amendments made to The Employment Standards Regulations

In March, the Government of Saskatchewan made amendments to The Employment Standards Regulations to address temporary layoffs during a public emergency. Additional amendments, made on May 20, address layoffs provisions.

A helpful Q&A document is available and explains the changes made to protect employers and employees. Information about recent changes relating to layoffs begins on Page 4 of the document.  

Government of Canada announces Business Resilience Service hotline

The Government of Canada is supporting the launch of a four-week Business Resilience Service hotline. The service offers a direct connection with business experts throughout Canada. Advice is provided on government relief programs appropriate to small- to medium-sized business, not-for-profits and charitable organizations, along with guidance on how to respond and adapt during these uncertain times.

The free program also offers:

  • Guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility
  • Direction on accessing the most appropriate support organizations
  • Help to make decisions to support recovery plans
  • Real time insights and feedback to policymakers

The hotline is a national, bilingual service operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. As of May 25, small business owners with pressing financial needs can call 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free), seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).

New outfitting guidelines issued in Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan

The Government of Saskatchewan outlined Phase 2 of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan, which includes the addition of Outfitting Guidelines.

Beginning May 15, owners and employees of outfitting operations are allowed to travel to outfitting camps, including those in the Northern Saskatchewan Administrative District (NSAD), to prepare for the outfitting season and secure the premises. Operators must comply with the requirements of the public health order, including the travel restrictions within the NSAD.

Outfitters operating south of the NSAD that are not impacted by northern travel restrictions may begin operations starting on May 15 subject to the guidelines in the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan.

Phase 2 officially begins on May 19. Business that will be able to re-open include:

  • Retail businesses
  • Shopping malls
  • Select personal services (hairstylist/barber, registered massage therapist, acupuncturist and acupressurist)
  • Public markets and farmers’ markets

Guidelines for businesses and industries provide specific information to follow.

Government of Canada launches Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

The $1 billion Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will assist the tourism sector and season businesses ineligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the Canada Emergency Business Account.


Through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), $304 million is available to businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $208.5 million will go directly to small and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Another $95.7 million is available to businesses in small towns and rural areas through the Community Futures Pan West Network. Eligible businesses, such as retailers and restaurants, can access loans up to $40,000.


Businesses and organizations that were unable to access existing federal COVID-19 relief programs are encouraged to review the RRRF eligibility requirements or to contact WD for more information. There is also a Fact Sheet with summary details. 

There is an online tool now available from the Government of Canada to assist with determining Coronavirus benefits.

Parks Canada will gradually resume some operations at selected national parks, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas and national wildlife areas starting June 1, 2020

Starting June 1, 2020, the Government of Canada will gradually resume some operations at certain national parks, national historic sites, historic waterways, and national marine conservation areas. This will include access to some trails, day use areas, and green spaces, and some access for recreational boating, as well as the gradual resumption of some key field-based ecological and cultural resource protection activities. Environment and Climate Change Canada will also gradually resume some operations at selected national wildlife areas, including conservation activities and day use access for visitors on June 1, 2020.

Parks Canada will continue to work closely with local tourism-related businesses and associations throughout the gradual resumption of operations. The Agency will also inform visitors of the appropriate physical distancing, hygiene and safety measures to follow.

Until June 1, suspensions of visitor services and closures of facilities announced in March remain in place, including over the Victoria Day long weekend. For their own safety, Canadians should not try to access locations that are closed.

All camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21, 2020, while Parks Canada assesses whether and how these services might resume. Group activities and public events will be prohibited until further notice. Read the full news release for more information.

Five-stage Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan announced

The Government of Saskatchewan announced its staggered plan for safely lifting emergency restrictions and enabling businesses to re-open and employees to return to work. Re-Open Saskatchewan identifies five phases, beginning on May 4, that will see Saskatchewan businesses and services “methodically, gradually and cautiously” resume. The plan also details physical distancing restrictions that will remain in place.

Read the full announcement and summary of the five phases and timeline. A guidelines page is also available on topics such as parks and campgrounds, golf courses, hotels and accommodations and more.

Travel Restrictions Tightened Across Northern Saskatchewan

Public Health Order was announced on April 24 restricting all non-critical travel into northern Saskatchewan, specifically the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District. Non-essential travel between communities in northern Saskatchewan is also not advised. The action was taken in response to an outbreak of COVID-19 in La Loche, and is one of several government actions to protect northern Saskatchewan residents from the virus.

The province is announcing tighter travel restrictions for the province’s north to help stop the spread of COVID-19. An updated public health order has been issued by Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab to impose further restrictions, including:

  • Restricting all non-critical travel (including those with primary residences) into and out of the NSAD, as well as restricting all non-critical travel between northern communities.
  • Northern residents are ordered to remain in their local communities and to practice appropriate social distancing. Exceptions will be made only for critical items like collecting groceries and medical appointments.
  • Travel related to the delivery of essential services will continue to be permitted. For a complete list of approved travel visit:

The NSAD is a large geographic area covering almost half of the province but containing less than 4% of the provincial population. Given the uniqueness of the North, case-by-case exemptions to the Order were evaluated upon the request of a community. To date, the municipalities of La Ronge and Stony Rapids have been granted exemptions. This means that travel to and from La Ronge and Stony Rapids from outside the NSAD is allowed, but individuals are not permitted to stop in any other community.

Public inquiries regarding the restriction of all non-critical travel into the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District (NSAD) can be directed to the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency toll-free line at 1-855-559-5502.

Supports for Outfitters and other Seasonal Businesses - Program Extended

The Government of Saskatchewan announced new supports for northern outfitters and businesses operating in provincial parks. Amendments to the Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment (SSBEP) program will ensure these small businesses are eligible for grants up to $5,000.

The SSBEP is a $50 million program providing financial support as a one-time grant to small and medium-sized businesses that have had to temporarily close or significantly curtail operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants are paid based on 15 per cent of a business’ monthly sales revenue, to a maximum of $5,000. 

On May 8, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment (SSBEP) program will be extended to the month of May for businesses that are required to remain closed or substantially curtail operations after May 19, 2020.

Businesses will not need to reapply to the program. Businesses that qualify for the program will automatically receive a second payment after May 19.  

For more information and the SSBEP application, businesses can visit

This is in addition to measures taken by the Ministry of Environment to waive lease fees for outfitters for the 2020 season and providing flexible licensing arrangements for those suspending outfitting activities.

 Seasonal Business Benefits:

  • Payments are based on 15% of a business's average monthly sales revenue, based on the full months that the business carried on operations in 2019.
  • The maximum payment is $5,000 per business.
  • Payments can be used for any purpose, including paying fixed costs or expenditures related to re-opening the business following the pandemic.

To be eligible, a seasonal Saskatchewan business must:

  1. Have been eligible to carry on business in Saskatchewan on February, 29, 2020;
  2. Have been ordered to temporarily close or substantially curtail operations during the public emergency period;
  3. Have less than 500 employees;
    • In the year before the COVID-19 public health order; or
    • When averaged for the 3 years before the year in which the COVID-19 public health order;
  4. Attest that they:
    • Have experienced a loss of sales revenue due to a COVID-19 public health order;
    • Plan to reopen operations following the cancellation of the COVID-19 public health order;
    • Have not received any payments or amounts from any other sources, including insurance, to replace or compensate for the loss of sales revenue other than amounts from other government assistance programs; and
  5. Apply on or before July 31, 2020.

seasonal business is a small business that carries on business only for part of a year. Eligible seasonal businesses that have previously applied should reapply. Click here to apply.

Federal government actions to protect jobs and assist Canadian businesses and organizations to address challenges stemming from COVID-19 were announced on April 17. Details included the following:

  • $675 million to financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures. This support is distributed through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (including Western Economic Diversification).
  • $287 million to support rural businesses and communities, including access to capital through the Community Futures Network of Canada.
  • $500 million to establish a COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. The fund will address the financial needs of organizations within these sectors and enable them to continue to support artists and athletes. This measure is consistent with the government’s other existing COVID-19 support measures for wages and fixed costs for organizations.
  • $250 million to assist innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access existing COVID-19 business support. This relief is offered through the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program.
  • $20.1 million in support for Futurpreneur Canada to aid young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges due to COVID-19.

Canada emergency wage subsidy available open for applications April 27

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides eligible businesses with a 75 per cent wage subsidy (to a maximum of $847 per week) for up to 12 weeks. The subsidy encourages employers to re-hire workers previously laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications open on April 27. The program is retroactive to March 15 and will be in place until June 6, 2020. Recent CEWS legislation that was passed enables the federal government to extend the program until September 30, 2020 and change the Required Revenue Reduction criteria and subsidy amount.

Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, employer partnerships, non-profit organizations and registered charities experiencing a decrease of at least 15 per cent of revenue in March and 30 per cent in the following months. A calculator is on the CRA website to allow businesses to determine exactly what the wage subsidy will cover and how much you can claim.  

There is an online tool now available from the Government of Canada to assist with determining Coronavirus benefits.

Canada Emergency Business Account expanded

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. The loans are to help cover operating costs while revenues have been temporarily reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions. Repaying the balance of the loan before December 31, 2022 results in 25 per cent loan forgiveness (up to $10,000).

Eligibility has been expanded to include sole owners/operators, businesses that pay employees through dividends, or businesses that have only contract employees. To date, over 600,000 small businesses have accessed the program. Learn more about the CEBA.

There is an online tool now available from the Government of Canada to assist with determining Coronavirus benefits.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit extended to part-time and seasonal workers

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is accepting applications. The CERB provides temporary income support for up to 16 weeks. It is available to Canadian residents who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income due to COVID-19 pandemic. Amendments to the program allow people to earn an additional $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB. Eligibility has been extended to seasonal workers whose EI has ended and regular seasonal positions suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Staggered application periods (by birth month) will help address the high volume of online submissions. Follow these guidelines:

  • Monday – January, February, March birthdays
  • Tuesday – April, May, June birthdays
  • Wednesday – July, August, September birthdays
  • Thursday – October, November, December birthdays
  • Fridays-Sunday – all months

Visit Questions and Answers for more information. 

There is an online tool now available from the Government of Canada to assist with determining Coronavirus benefits.

Government of Saskatchewan Business Response Team

The Business Response Team works directly with businesses to identify program supports, both provincially and federally.

Business Response Team

Online guide identifies accommodation and food services for work crews

Tourism Saskatchewan has created an online resource and map identifying accommodation properties and food services that will be open to work crews this spring and summer. The guide is searchable by location, region or business name. Details include contact information, lodging options and food take-out and delivery options.

Businesses that can accommodate work crews or offer take-out food service and wish to be included in the guide can email Include the following information in your message:

  • Business name and location
  • Contact phone/email
  • Number of guest units available @ 1 person/unit
  • Food take-out available on site/hours of operation
  • Food take-out available nearby (specify restaurant name(s)/hours of operation)

Saskatchewan Trucking Association - Trucker’s Meal and Accommodations Guide

To assist the trucking industry and its drivers, the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) has created the Trucker’s Meal and Accommodations Guide. The resource lists businesses in Saskatchewan where truckers can conveniently access takeout food, washrooms, showers and basic comforts. Some businesses offer discounts on food and rooms. To access the resource, visit the Saskatchewan Trucking Association website, and click on the GET Trucker's Meal and Accommodations Guide button on the right hand side of the page.

The STA regularly updates the guide as more information is received. Businesses interested in adding their products, offers or services to the Trucker’s Meal and Accommodations Guide should call the STA at 306-569-9696.

Income tax filing and payment dates extended

The Government of Canada has extended the date of filing for the current tax year to June 1, 2020. This extension applies to corporations that would otherwise have a filing due date after March 18 and before June 1, 2020. The new payment date is September 1, 2020. This applies to balances and installments under Part 1 of the Income Tax Act due on or after March 18 and before September 2, 2020. Individuals have also been granted more time to file their returns and make payments. Click here for more information.

Canada-Saskatchewan Rapid Response Teams

The Employer Services Branch with the Ministry of Immigration and Career Training (ICT) is offering concierge services for employers. This customizable suite of services can assist businesses with navigation and selection of Government of Saskatchewan and Government of Canada programs and services. Staff will work with you directly to identify and address obstacles that stand in the way of innovative solutions to your labour and workforce issues. Click here to learn more, phone 306-787-7428 or email for assistance.

Protect yourself from cybercrime and fraud

Criminals are exploiting the worldwide health crisis to facilitate fraud and cybercrime. Canadians are advised to be cautious of potential COVID-19 scams and cyber threats via websites, emails, texts and phone calls. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre lists a number of recent scams and provides information on protecting yourself from fraudsters.

The Government of Canada offers comprehensive information on about COVID-19 scams, fraudulent activities and misleading claims. Here is some basic advice:

  • Beware of unsolicited emails, phone calls or texts, especially related to COVID-19
  • Do not click on any suspicious links or attachments in emails or texts
  • Do not be pressured into providing personal information or money
  • Follow up with individuals, companies or charities using verified contact information that you find on their official website
  • Ensure that anti-virus software is installed and keep operating systems up-to-date

If you become aware of or have been the victim of fraud or cybercrime, including COVID-19 scams and cyber threats, contact your local police and report online to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Fraud Reporting System.


Tourism HR Canada Launching COVID-19 Workforce Recovery Toolkit

Tourism HR Canada is developing a COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit to help industry resume business as quickly as possible and build resiliency for the medium- to long-term. 

Sign up at to access and receive updates as modules are launched in the coming weeks. The full COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit will be released in June. A French version will follow immediately.  

The toolkit’s five modules focus on Workforce Development, Communications, Budget & Finance, Marketing and Strategic Planning. Each module features two key components:

  1. Plan - Design and establish policies, procedures and plans for major business and societal disruptions
  2. Respond - Navigate new pressures and address critical questions at the onset of a major disruption; Enable rapid response and decision-making to prioritize effectively.

Subject matter experts can access comprehensive sector-specific HR content in the following areas:

• Accommodation
• Transportation
• Food and Beverage
• Travel Services
• Recreation and Entertainment

Conference Board of Canada releases results of Return to Work survey

The Conference Board of Canada recently surveyed organizations across the country to gain insights in preparations for reopening businesses. Survey participants were asked how they are planning to bring employees back to physical workplaces and what measures they are putting in place.

Access the results of the Return to Work survey. The findings are part of a Conference Board of Canada series examining work and pay during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air Canada Response to COVID-19

WestJet Response to COVID-19



Government of Saskatchewan

SaskAlert App
The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency is urging Saskatchewan residents to download the SaskAlert App to receive accurate and timely details about COVID-19. The app provides critical information to help protect individuals and families. Users have options for receiving public emergency alerts for the entire province, or for a specific municipality or First Nation. The app can target residents in a geographic area with alerts for that region. In case of an emergency, a tone will sound, similar to receiving a normal text message notification. This will occur even if the app is closed. Individuals can then open the app to find information on the emergency and instructions on any required actions.

Public Health Agency of Canada

The World Health Organization (WHO)



Government of Saskatchewan

The Business Response Team works directly with businesses to identify program supports, both provincially and federally.
Business Response Team

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

Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board Employer Relief Measures

The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) introduced relief measures for employers who are unable to pay WCB premium payments. These include:

  • Waiving penalties and interest charges for late premium payments from April 1 until June 30, 2020.
  • Forgiving interest and penalties for late payments applied in March.
  • Prioritizing employer payroll revisions to help employers reduce their premiums.
  • Suspending payroll audits until further notice, except in situations where an employer may be eligible for a refund.

Employers who have concerns about paying their 2020 premiums should contact the WCB to discuss their options.

Saskatchewan Self-Isolation Support Program

The Government of Saskatchewan offers the Saskatchewan Self-Isolation Support Program for Saskatchewan workers who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 infection, contact or symptoms, and are ineligible for other government assistance programs. Eligible applications can access $450 per week for a maximum of two weeks.

Provincial Sales Tax Remittance Relief

Saskatchewan businesses are currently able to defer Provincial Sales Tax (PST) remittance for three-months. Businesses that are unable to file their provincial tax return(s) by the due date may submit a request for relief from penalty and interest charges on the return(s) affected. Call the Tax Inquiry Line at 1-800-667-6102 or email with any PST-related questions.

Government of Canada

Canada-Saskatchewan Rapid Response Teams

  • The Employer Services Branch with the Ministry of Immigration and Career Training (ICT) is offering concierge services for employers to navigate and access COVID-19 business support programs. 
  • Click here to learn more, phone 306-787-7428 or email for assistance.

Canada Summer Jobs Program – temporary flexibilities offered to employers

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of flexibilities have been introduced to the Canada Summer Jobs Program in areas of wage subsidies, part-time placements, employment period and changes to project and job activities.

Federal Work-Sharing Program extended

The Government of Canada has extended the during of its Work-Sharing Program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This measure will provide income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

Canadian Business Resilience Network

  • Resources page to navigate government programs for COVID-19 assistance

Employment and Social Development Canada

World Health Organization (WHO) Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
*please contact your financial institution first if you are not already a BDC member*
Conference Board of Canada

Canadian Payroll Association
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada Canadian Federation for Independent Business (CFIB) Export Development Canada Service Hospitality Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Global Affairs Canada



Government of Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment

Western Economic Diversification Canada

Export Development Canada

Google for Small Businesses

Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority 

Business Development Bank of Canada

Square One (Saskatchewan Centre for Entrepreneurship)

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

COVID-19 Benefits Calculator - Step-by-step guide during the COVID-19 pandemic to find out which benefits your business qualifies for and how to apply with The Government of Canada

Bank of Canada Rate News

Finance Canada

Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce

Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association



Destination Canada

Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)

Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC)

Tourism HR Canada

Hotel Association of Canada (HAC)

Restaurants Canada



BC Hughes Destination Think! BC Hotel Association

Destinations Canada

Tips on Preparing for Recovery - PDF


Government of Canada

Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce

Destination Canada

Tourism HR Canada

Museums Association of Saskatchewan


Restaurants Canada - Free Webinars and Resources

Ascent Strategy

  • Business Resilience Free Webinar Series - A community initiative to provide business owners with access to experts and accurate information as they navigate the challenge of the COVID-19 crisis

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

SafetyCheck - Canadian Food Safety Group

Destinations International

Conference Board of Canada

Destination Think! Service Hospitality

Lodging on Demand

Business Development Bank of Canada



Saskatchewan Provincial Parks

Provincial parks will be open to vehicle traffic and for limited day use on May 4 to support limited activities that can maintain physical distancing recommendations, such as fishing, hiking and mountain biking. Boat launch access will be available beginning May 4. All public and private campgrounds will remain closed to overnight camping until June 1, 2020. At that time, only Saskatchewan residents will be allowed to camp or visit Saskatchewan provincial parks.

SaskParks urges people to follow social distancing practices and take necessary precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Before May 4, provincial parks are closed to the public. While park offices are closed, staff are still available by phone (1-800-205-7070) or email ( to answer questions.You can also visit for more information. 

For the most up-to-date information on 2020 reservations and camping season, please review the following FAQs:


Parks Canada is calling on Canadians to support the national effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and stay home. Anyone considering a visit to Prince Albert National Park and Grasslands National Park should cancel their plans. The agency is temporarily suspending all motor vehicle access by visitors at all national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas effective on March 25 until further notice. All visitor services remain suspended and all visitor facilities remain closed. All parking lots, vehicle services, trails, washrooms, day use facilities, showers, visitor centres and camping facilities, including oTENTiks, yurts and backcountry camping, are closed until further notice.

For more information, read the Updated PANP access information during COVID-19 (PDF).

For latest visitor information, read the PANP Visitor information and Q&As - May 11.

Effective Monday, March 30, Hwy 263 from the South Gate to Narrows Road (including all visitor facilities along this road) will be closed. Highway 264 to the townsite of Waskesiu (main park access) remains open. All visitor facilities such as playgrounds, trails, trailheads, washrooms and shower facilities, Visitor Centre, campgrounds and day-use facilities are closed. For more information, read the latest Waskesiu Townsite Update (PDF).

Parks Canada will limit its activities to basic critical operations. Information is also available on the Prince Albert National Park, Grasslands National Park and Parks Canada website.

If you didn't find what you were looking for above, please email your COVID-19 questions and concerns to
OR, visit this Questions and Answers page for the tourism industry.