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COVID-19 Weekly Tourism Sector Update

May 6th, 2020


The tourism sector is one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as all leisure travel continues to be discouraged. But every week, new support programs & relief measures continue to be announced. Tourism Prince Rupert is committed to the resiliency & recovery of our local tourism sector. Learn more about the work of Tourism Prince Rupert anytime by visiting our Corporate Website.
Visit the Tourism Prince Rupert Website

BC's Restart Plan - Looking Ahead to Recovery

Today, Premier John Horgan announced BC's Restart Plan. Under the Restart Plan, government will work closely with public health officials, businesses and labour organizations to lift restrictions in phases, gradually allowing for more social and economic activity, while closely monitoring health information to minimize the risk to the public.

Click here to read the complete plan.
“Our plan puts safety first. British Columbians have made enormous sacrifices so far, and it’s thanks to them that we’re able to begin to lift some restrictions,” Horgan said. “We’ll allow activities to resume as the evidence and experts tell us it is appropriate to do so. By moving carefully and deliberately, we will help British Columbians get to a ‘new normal,’ where more of our social and economic life can resume.”

B.C. is currently in Phase 1 of the restart plan. Phase 2, which will begin in mid-May, includes:
  • small social gatherings;
  • a resumption of elective surgeries and regulated health services like physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropractors and in-person counselling;
  • provincial parks open for day use;
  • opening more non-essential businesses in keeping with safe operations plans;
  • recalling the provincial legislature for regular sittings.
The target date for the start of Phase 3, which will include opening up of additional businesses and services, is between June and September, if transmission rates remain low or in decline.

Phase 4 will only be achieved when the threat of COVID-19 has been significantly diminished through widespread vaccination, broad successful treatments, evidence of community immunity, or the equivalent.

Most provincial parks will reopen, starting May 14, for day-use only. On June 1, many remaining facilities, including campgrounds, will reopen. A small number of parks that attract large crowds, or where reopening would pose a health risk to nearby communities, will remain closed.

A strong emphasis on personal hygiene for all British Columbians, including hand washing, physical distancing and staying at home if you are sick, will be crucial for the success of every phase of the plan.

Government Updates

  • This week, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the tourism sector has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19 and sector support will follow in the coming days.
  • The government has invested $240.5 million CAD to develop, expand and launch virtual care and mental health tools to support Canadians. This investment will be used to create digital platforms and applications, improve access to virtual mental health supports and expand capacity to deliver health care virtually.
  • Over the weekend, Canada joined other global leaders to launch the Coronavirus Global Response. This is an online pledging event that aims to raise more than $8 billion USD to help researchers and innovators develop solutions to test, treat and protect people, and prevent further spread of COVID-19. 
  • The Prime Minister highlighted the government has announced investments of over $850 million CAD to support this fundraising target, including supporting accelerated vaccine investment, mobilizing research companies and creating strategies to tackle misinformation.
  • The Prime Minster also acknowledged the hardships food producers and farmers are dealing with during COVID-19. The government is investing $252 million to help the agri-food industry;
  • To ease financial hardship on businesses and to keep employees connected with their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province has extended the temporary layoff period from 13 to 16 weeks. Previously under the Employment Standards Act, a temporary layoff longer than 13 weeks in any 20-week period (or about three months in a five-month period) was considered a permanent layoff. Learn more at:
  • British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected because of the COVID-19 pandemic and are receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit can now apply for the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers (BCEBW) online. The BCEBW is a one-time, tax-free payment of $1,000 for eligible British Columbians.
  • To be eligible for the BCEBW, people must:
    • have been a resident of BC on March 15, 2020;
    • meet the eligibility requirements for the CERB;
    • have been approved for the CERB, even if a federal benefit payment has not yet been received;
    • be at least 15 years old on the date of application;
    • have filed, or agree to file, a 2019 BC income tax return; and
    • not be receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance
  • How to apply:
    British Columbians with their social insurance number and direct deposit information can go to:

Restaurant Patios in Prince Rupert

This week, the City of Prince Rupert announced it will be waiving the $350 fee for restaurants in Prince Rupert to apply for a patio permit. To apply, please visit the following link: 

Destination BC Webinar Series

Are you a tourism business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? Register for Destination BC’s webinar series supporting BC’s tourism industry on the road to recovery from COVID-19. Learn more at

Survey Reveals Canadians' Travel Plans

Leger Research has been conducting a weekly national tracking survey on the effects of COVID-19 among Canadians and Americans.

Each week, they publish a survey conducted in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS), and published in The Canadian Press, to help governments, businesses and citizens better understand the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians in the face of the current health and economic crisis. This series of surveys is available on Leger’s

Their latest survey about COVID-19 reveals that:
  • Over three-in-five (64%) Canadians think the federal government should maintain the pace at which it is relaxing social distancing/self-isolation measures.
  • Americans are approximately twice as likely as Canadians to think their state and federal government should accelerate the pace at which they are relaxing social distancing/self-isolation measures.
  • 16% of Canadians will not be comfortable with the government lifting restrictions on workplace and leisure activities until there is a COVID-19 vaccine available.
  • Half (50%) of Canadians have cancelled or changed their vacation plans in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic

Northern BC Tourism Resiliency Program

The Northern BC Tourism Resiliency Program will provide Northern BC tourism businesses with meaningful, one-on-one support to access and navigate programs available as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of a program manager, tourism businesses will have support to develop a tailored relief plan, with support accessing the various support programs now available from the provincial & federal governments, as well as other tourism-specific resources. 
Register for the NBC Tourism Resiliency Program

COVID-19 Resources

Tourism Prince Rupert is continously updating our COVID-19 resource page to keep you up-to-date with the latest programs & resources. For a complete summary of the local, provincial, federal, and tourism-specific resources available, please visit our COVID-19 resource page at the link below. 
TPR COVID-19 Resource Page
For up to date information on the effects of COVID-19 on the tourism sector in British Columbia, please visit
Tourism Prince Rupert will be working hard to provide you with email updates regarding any new advisories or support programs as they are announced.

Please note we are only providing new information each week. For access to our past newsletters, please visit our Newsletter Archive page.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Ceilidh Marlow
Executive Director, Tourism Prince Rupert
Phone: 778-361-0440
Copyright © 2020 Tourism Prince Rupert, All rights reserved.

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