Suspension of in-person services until further notice.

News

Useful information for newcomers regarding COVID-19 in Canada

(Remember to refresh your browser when opening this page, to see the latest updates)

We will periodically update this page with additional resources, information and links on COVID-19 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Canada. Resources updated in the last 48 hours are marked with a New! label

At Immigrant Centre

Following federal and provincial authorities’ advice, we suspended all in-person services until further notice, as have most newcomer-serving organizations. We are still providing services online; click here to learn more, email us at frontdesk@icmanitoba.com, or click here to register online as a new client. 

Social distancing and washing your hands

(New!) The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is:

Think you may have COVID-19? Here is a self-assessment tool to find out what to do. Visit the Government of Manitoba COVID-19 page for more tips and information.

Travel and immigration

All Canadian borders (including airports) are now closed to all non-Canadians and non-permanent residents with the exception of immediate family (spouses, underage children, and the parents of underage children) of Canadian citizens.

Effective March 25 at midnight, all travelers are required by law to self-quarantine. It is strictly forbidden to stop at the grocery store or to take public transit.

For Canadians and permanent residents

For temporary residents already in Canada

For those approved to come to Canada as temporary or permanent residents

  • IRCC created a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the impact of closures on immigration and permit applications, renewals, remaining in Canada, and entering Canada.
  • Exemptions to the air travel restrictions will apply to foreign nationals who have already committed to working, studying or making Canada their home. The exemptions include:
    • seasonal agricultural workers, fish/seafood workers, caregivers and all other temporary foreign workers
    • international students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020
    • permanent resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before the travel restrictions were announced on March 16, 2020, but who had not yet travelled to Canada
  • Click here to learn more and to verify if these exemptions apply to you.

State of emergency in Manitoba

On Friday March 20, 2020, the Manitoba government declared a province-wide state of emergency. Don’t be afraid! This is so that the Province can take further action to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and to help those affected by illness or closures.

Under The Public Health Act, the Province of Manitoba imposed the following measures, effective 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 30:

  • Public gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises. 
    • This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals. 
    • This does not apply to a facility where health care or social services are provided including child-care centres and homeless shelters.  
  • Retail businesses including grocery or food stores, shopping centres, pharmacies or gas stations must ensure separation of one to two metres between patrons assembling in the business.  
  • Public transportation facilities must also ensure that people assembling at the facility are reasonably able to maintain a separation of one to two metres.
  • Other restrictions first introduced in a public health order issued on March 20 remain in effect.

SafeWork shared various workplace safety resources including working safely from home, and work refusals related to COVID-19.

Healthcare

The Government of Manitoba developed a self assessment tool for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which you must take if you think you may have contracted COVID-19. The tool will tell you whether to call health links, to go to a clinic, or to do nothing if you are not at risk.

Income, EI, finances, taxes, and access to emergency groceries

Employment Insurance (EI) and COVID-19 benefits

If you lost your job or were otherwise affected by the closure of your workplace or because you were required to self-isolate, visit this page with all the supports available to individuals and businesses.

  • If you are eligible to apply for EI, please apply immediately by clicking here. Click here for an instruction guide from Service Canada.
    • Find EI application information related to COVID-19 here, and some guides on how to apply for EI by CBC here and by Global News here.
    • For information on obtaining a Record of Employment (ROE) click here, scroll down, and click on the Record of Employment option.
  • If you are not eligible for EI, apply for the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit through MyCRA or MyServiceCanada, starting in April. This will be available for:
    • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
    • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
    • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
    • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
    • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
  • The Canada Child Benefit will be temporarily increased by $300 per child.
    • If you haven’t applied, file your tax return as soon as possible, and apply for the benefit here.
    • If you already applied, there is no need to reapply.

Support for those who lost their income

Taxes

  • The tax filing deadline has been postponed to June 1, 2020.
  • The deadline to pay taxes based on your tax return has been postponed to August 31, 2020.
  • New residents who do not have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) are asked to wait if their application is not urgent. If it is urgent, please click here and then click on the Social Insurance Number tab for information on urgent applications.

Provincial and municipal services

  • Manitoba kindergarten to Grade 12 schools will suspend classes March 23 to April 10.
  • Licensed child-care centres will suspend services from the end-of-day on March 20 until April 10.
  • Home-based child care centres will remain open because they have smaller number of children.  
  • Parents who provide essential services, such as front-line health-care providers, will have a way to continue to access child-care options and should contact 204-945-0776, 1-888-213-4754 (toll-free) or cdcinfo@gov.mb.ca as soon as possible.
  • If you need a Manitoba Health card, please note that the Manitoba Health’s office at 300 Carlton St. will be temporarily closed to the public. You can register through email, phone, fax and mail.  Forms and contact information can be found here.
  • Various non-essential services provided by the City of Winnipeg have been suspended, including all libraries, community centres, and Leisure Guide programs. Please check their website for all the service suspensions and their online services. Visit the City of Winnipeg’s FAQ on COVID-19, and their general COVID-19 page.
    • While Winnipeg Public Library branches are closed, they have made many resources available online. Click here to learn more.
    • New! The City of Winnipeg has closed all amenities at public parks, including picnic tables and playground structures.
    • New! In addition, they are not opening community athletic fields (soccer, football, etc.), basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and skate parks.
    • New! The City is expanding its annual bicycle and active transportation route schedule to four routes from Monday, April 6 until Sunday, May 3, 2020. Four streets in Winnipeg are designated as bicycle/active transportation routes; click here to for exact locations.

Doing our part to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Federal and provincial health authorities have stressed out the importance of the following measures to stop the spread of Coronavirus:

Important: Manitoba is partnering with North Forge (our neighbours on Adelaide St!) to create an online tool called https://helpnextdoormb.ca/  where you can ask for help, or volunteer to help others.

Additional resources for individuals and families staying at home

We will update this section periodically with useful information for newcomers in Manitoba.

  • Need someone to help you? Or, want to help someone in your community?
    • Manitoba is partnering with North Forge (our neighbours on Adelaide St!) to create an online tool called https://helpnextdoormb.ca/  where you can ask for help, or volunteer to help others.
  • Join the Caremongering Facebook group managed by the South Winnipeg Family Information Centre.

Stores and grocery shopping

Physical and mental health

Free online courses, and schools in Winnipeg

Leisure and active life

Coping resources for individuals and families

Job postings

Newcomer sector and other resources by service providers