Immigrant Centre closed for in-person services until Nov. 25: Learn more.

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 Manitoba

Following public health orders, all staff and visitors are required to wear face masks in offices and common areas like hallways.

We are open and offering in-person services! If you come in person, you will need to follow these guidelines.

  • Front desk: Our front desk is available in person and online Monday to Thursday, 8:30 am to 8:30 pm, and Friday to Saturday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Settlement and Employment services: Our office hours for in-person and online Settlement services are Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and for Language Bank services are Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4 pm. Employment services are available by appointment only.
  • Classes and workshops: All our classes have moved online, including English Conversation classes, Citizenship classes, Driver’s Education classes, Employment workshops and employer events, and Settlement workshops.
  • Nutrition Services: Our next in-person Cooking Matters session started in October 2020. Visit our Nutrition Services page for more information.

If you are unable to come due to COVID-19, you can access our services online:

  • Click here to register online as a new client, or email us at frontdesk@icmanitoba.com.
  • Click here to request a verification of translation, a certified true copy, or a letter to Manitoba Health Services to confirm your physical address.
  • Register for our online English conversation classes here.

Social distancing and washing your hands

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.

Immigration Partnership Winnipeg shared various multilingual factsheets on their COVID-19 website, including facts about COVID-19, how to know if you need to get tested, social distancing, and self isolation, among other related topics.

Travel and immigration

All Canadian borders (including airports) remain 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.

  • Starting on November 21, travellers will be required to submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN before they board their flight. This includes travel and contact information, quarantine plan, and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment. Learn more here.
  • As of November 21, 2020, after arriving in Canada, all travellers will be required to submit information through ArriveCAN or by calling the 1-833-641-0343 toll-free number during their quarantine or isolation period. Within 48 hours of entering Canada, travellers must confirm they have arrived at their place of quarantine or isolation and those in quarantine must complete a daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment during their quarantine period. Learn more here.

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.

Biometrics exemption: Effective September 22, foreign nationals who have previously given their biometrics in support of an immigration application within the last 10 years are exempt from the requirement to give their biometrics in support of their pending or new application for permanent residence. Learn more here.

For Canadians and permanent residents

  • Canadians are asked to avoid all non-essential travel. Click here to learn more, including what to do if you must travel and/or if you are already abroad.
  • 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.
  • More resources by IRCC on how you may be affected by COVID-19 related closures, including 90 day extensions on deadlines to submit documents.
  • IRCC created a Frequently Asked Questions page regarding CERB and immigration, including whether you can apply as a non-citizen, and whether it would affect family sponsorship.

For temporary foreign workers

IRCC developed a COVID-19 guide for temporary foreign workers in Canada.

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 apply to foreign nationals including:
    • 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.
  • International students can only enter Canada if their Designated Learning Institution (DLI) has been approved after submitting their COVID-19 readiness plan to IRCC. Click here to find your DLI. Learn more here.

Public health orders in Manitoba

Provincial Response Level: CRITICAL (Red). Click here to learn more about the Manitoba Provincial Response Level system.

The following requirements and guidelines are in place:

  • Social contacts reduced to your household only. Social gatherings are not permitted.
  • Travel to and from northern Manitoba is restricted and non-essential travel is discouraged.
  • Retail businesses listed as critical services, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, can remain open at 25 per cent capacity.
  • Retail businesses not on the list are able to provide e-service, curbside pickup or delivery services.
  • All personal service businesses, including hair salons, barbers and sites offering manicures, pedicures and other esthetic services, must close.
  • Gyms and fitness centres must close.
  • Religious and cultural gatherings must close or be provided virtually only.
  • Restaurants must close to the public and may be open for delivery, drive-thru or takeout only.
  • All recreational activities, sports facilities, casinos, museums, galleries, libraries, movie theatres and concert halls must close.
  • K-12 learning remains unchanged: Kindergarten to Grade 8 students and students with special learning needs will participate in in-class learning five days per week; students in grades 9 to 12 will be in class to the greatest extent possible. Remote learning for high school students may vary from school to school, depending on the ability to physically distance including in classrooms, hallways and other areas.
  • Family child-care homes and child-care centres may be able to open and work toward safely increasing their operations to full regular licensing capacity while still meeting directives outlined by public health.
  • Fourteen days of self-isolation is required people returning or coming to Manitoba from all jurisdictions except, western and northern Canada and northwest Ontario.
  • Face masks continue to be required at all indoor public places.
  • Physical distancing of 2 metres is still required.

On March 20, 2020, the Manitoba Government declared a province-wide state of emergency. Under The Public Health Act, the Province of Manitoba imposed various public health orders effective March 30. The state of emergency is still in place.

The Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg implemented an enforcement approach for anyone breaking the state of emergency orders. Enforcement actions include:

  • public education through education ambassadors
  • written warning
  • ticketing with increased fine amounts
  • arrest, if necessary

Healthcare

The COVID-19 testing criteria has been expanded to anyone exhibiting symptoms. If you experience COVID-19 symptoms, complete a self assessment, or call Health Links. Learn more here.

  • If you need to get tested, click here to find your nearest testing site. You may book a testing appointment online, or go to a drive-thru testing site.
  • At the moment, only people experiencing symptoms will be tested.

Other resources:

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

Federal benefits

This page lists all available supports by the Federal Government, for individuals and businesses.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is no longer available. Click here to learn about transitioning from CERB to EI.

There are three new recovery benefits available:

  • Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB): $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for those who are not employed or self-employed due to COVID-19 and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in two-week periods. Learn more here.
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB): $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods. Learn more here.
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB): $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods. Learn more here.

Support for students

  • The applications for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) for students are now closed.
  • International students working in essential services can now work more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session. Learn more about these changes here, and see the list of essential services jobs here.
  • Changes to student loans, including suspension of interests and repayments. Learn more here and here.
  • There is a new strategy to create part time and full time jobs for postsecondary students and recent graduates; learn about these strategies here.

Service Canada

Service Canada shared this COVID contact page for all services that they would normally provide in person or remotely.

  • You can apply online for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) here.
  • Service Canada has resumed some services in-person; click here to find an open Service Canada location near you.
    • Important: The biometrics collection service is not available yet.

Businesses

Other support for those who lost their income

Taxes

  • The tax filing deadline was postponed to June 1, 2020.
  • The deadline to pay taxes based on your tax return was postponed to September 30, 2020.
    • Even if you are late, you should still file a tax return for for the year 2019, to be eligible for benefits including Child tax benefit and GST/HST credits.

More information

Immigration Partnership Winnipeg and the Ethnocultural Council of Manitoba created a list of benefits and resources available to newcomers in Manitoba during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Provincial and municipal services

Schools and child care centres

  • K-12 schools resumed activities in-classroom in September 2020. Click here to learn more.
    • The use of face masks is mandated on school buses.
    • Students and staff in grades 4 to 12 must wear face masks where it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.
    • Visit the Manitoba Education page frequently for updates.
  • Licensed child-care centres and home-based child-care centres are now open.
  • 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.
  • All parents who went back to work as of May 4th can use the Province’s child care online search tool here.

Manitoba Health

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.

City of Winnipeg services, including Libraries

In response to the Winnipeg Metropolitan Area’s level Red, the City of Winnipeg has announced the following changes and closures (learn more here):

  • All City-owned and operated playgrounds, skate parks, and recreational sports fields are now closed.
  • While not currently in operation, winter-based outdoor recreation, including City-owned and operated toboggan slides and outdoor rinks are also included in this closure. These amenities will remain closed under the current public health orders.
  • City parks and dog parks will remain open at this time; however, residents are reminded to observe appropriate physical distancing while using these spaces. Group sizes are limited to no more than five people.
  • Winnipeg Transit routes remain unchanged.
  • All Winnipeg Public Library branches are closed; they continue to offer resources online. Click here to learn more.
  • Apply for a temporary Winnipeg Public Library card here if you can’t visit a branch in person (note: online library cards are only valid for online services).

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:

Need help or deliveries?

If you can’t leave your home due to COVID-19, you can ask volunteers to help you through Help Next Door, at https://helpnextdoormb.ca/. If you are interested in helping those who can’t leave their home, click on the above link to register as a volunteer.

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?
  • Join the Caremongering Facebook group managed by the South Winnipeg Family Information Centre.

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

New! Update on settlement service providers’ schedule and current status: