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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: December 17, 2021

The Government of Ontario has announced new public health restrictions that will take effect on December 19th.

Government of Ontario announces new public health measures starting December 19

From 12:01 a.m. on December 19, the Government of Ontario will impose new public health restrictions to slow the spread of the Omicron variant until the vaccination program can ramp up. The restrictions will include:

  • A 50% capacity limit on indoor settings bars such as restaurants, gyms, retailers, or personal care services
  • Restaurants and bars must close at 11 p.m. except for take-out and delivery. No alcohol may be served after 10 p.m.
  • Private indoor social gatherings are limited to ten people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to twenty-five
  • Only ten people may be seated per table in restaurants and meeting spaces
  • Patrons at restaurants, bars, etc. must remain seated at all times
  • Singing and dancing at venues is prohibited except for workers and performers
  • Venues such as stadiums, theatres, casinos, and so forth will not be permitted to serve food or drink

No decision has yet been made on whether schools will be closed or restricted in January, the Premier said.

Ontario has joined Quebec in asking for federal measures to support businesses and workers, and promised that they would look at future options to offer their own supports, although no specifics were offered during the media briefing.

Click here for more information.

Niagara Medical Officer of Health offers COVID-19 update

Sectoral Initiatives Program to offer $67 million in support for tourism and hospitality sector

Today, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced up to $67 million in funding to support Canada’s tourism and hospitality sector through the Sectoral Initiatives Program (SIP). This funding supports 24 projects that will help employers and industry stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality sector to attract and retain skilled workers, and build capacity through training and resources.

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Niagara Regional Council approves 2022 budget

At its meeting of Dec. 16, 2021, Niagara Regional Council approved an expenditure increase of $23 million for 2022. With the utilization of $6 million in reserves, the net increase totals $17 million, which maintains the property tax increase to 2.87 per cent.

For the average property assessed at $278,764, the Regional portion of the tax bill will increase by $46, totalling $1,684 in 2022.

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Brock cancels in-person exams, will offer courses online for beginning of winter term

Brock University has announced that on-campus exams for the Fall Term will be cancelled or will move to alternative modes of delivery, and that it will move to online course delivery for the beginning of the Winter Term to enable students, staff and faculty to receive their booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. On-campus classes are currently planned to resume on Jan. 31, 2022. During the period of online course delivery, the campus will remain open.

A work-from-home arrangement will be made for all Brock employees whose role does not require their presence on campus.

The university has asked all eligible staff and students to get their booster shots as soon as possible.

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Canadian COVID-19 case load up 45% in one week

Over the past seven days, an average of over 5,000 new cases were reported daily across Canada, reported Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Tam, which is 45% higher than the previous 7-day period. Severe illness trends have begun to increase in the most heavily impacted provinces, which may be more associated with rising levels of Delta variant activity over the preceding weeks. Over the past week, on average 1,450 people with COVID-19 were being treated in our hospitals each day, with over 450 in intensive care units and 19 deaths were reported daily.

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All travellers will once again need a molecular COVID-19 test before arriving in Canada

Canada is increasing testing requirements for international travellers and dropping its travel ban on flights from 10 African countries as the government tries to quash the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, CBC news reports.

Starting Tuesday, all travellers will once again need to get a COVID-19 molecular test before returning to Canada. The announcement from Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos rolls back an exemption announced last month that fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents taking short trips abroad, under 72 hours, wouldn’t need proof of a negative test before returning home.

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Reading Recommendations

Canada’s TD Bank delays office return over Omicron fears


Canada’s Toronto-Dominion Bank is directing staff who are able to do so, to work from home until further notice, according to a memo on Friday, as concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant mount globally.

The new directive would also apply to all staffers participating in the bank’s voluntary return to office program, the memo from Kenn Lalonde, senior executive vice president of human resources, said.

Organizational support: The key to employee commitment and well-being during the pandemic

The Conversation

For nearly two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly difficult for people to do their jobs. In addition to regular work duties, people have had to worry about their health and that of their loved ones. They have faced increased uncertainty about the future and have had to learn new ways of working.

Considering this additional pressure, it is not surprising that employees have reported feeling less happy at work since the start of the pandemic.

The pandemic has also damaged employees’ commitments to their organizations. With companies increasingly adopting remote work models, employees have fewer and fewer reasons to feel attached to their workplaces, as the usual human interactions have been replaced by video calls.

In the face of all this change, employers have been asking: what can organizations do to reduce these negative effects of the pandemic on their employees?

Niagara COVID-19 statistics tracker

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses. Visit to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

For information on rapid testing kits for individuals, click here.

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here. The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.

Through the Daily Updates, the GNCC aims to deliver important business news in a timely manner. We disseminate all news and information we feel will be important to businesses. Inclusion in the Daily Update is not an endorsement by the GNCC.

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