What you need to know about COVID-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic that is spreading across the world and affecting a high percentage of the population.
COVID-19 is a contagious disease that affects the respiratory system. It can include the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
Please seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms. In more severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia, severe breathing problems, kidney failure, and even death. UFCW Canada and its Local Unions are assessing the situation daily and we encourage everyone to follow the recommendations laid out by all levels of government.
UFCW Canada and its Local Unions are actively monitoring this issue and working with employers to ensure that all government recommended precautions are in place as the pandemic unfolds.
It is important at times like this that we care for one another. To help prevent transmission of COVID-19, you can take the following steps:
- Wear a mask in indoor public spaces, and in public spaces where it is difficult to socially distance;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill;
- Stay home when you are ill;
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
- Avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada; and
- Practice social distancing as much as possible.
The Government of Canada discourages any non-essential travel. It is highly recommended that you do not travel when you are sick. However, upon entering the country, the Government of Canada is requiring you to:
- Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken within 72 hours of your scheduled departure time.
- Take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival to Canada at your own cost.
- Reserve a room in a Government of Canada-approved hotel for three nights at your own cost, while you await your COVID-19 test results. You will be responsible for hotel, food, cleaning, and security costs.
- Those with positive COVID-19 tests will have to isolate in designated government facilities.
- If your test result is negative, you will still need to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine at a suitable place where you will not have contact with people over the age of 65 or those with compromised immune systems. The government is working with security companies to help complete compliance checks for travellers arriving in Canada.
- Violations are considered an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to penalties, including six months in prison and/or up to $750,000 in fines.
More info regarding travelling into Canada can be found here:
Effective immediately, if you have been experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you will be denied boarding on all domestic flights and inter-city passenger trains in Canada, unless you can produce a medical certificate stating that your symptoms are not COVID-19 related.
Staying informed with good, credible information is also vital when dealing with a public health emergency. Please follow advice from your local health authority – which may change as the situation evolves – to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We also recommend that UFCW Canada members, allies, and members of the public visit the following sites to stay up to date:
- Government of Canada
- World Health Organization
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus
- Travel Advisories
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadian Workers and Businesses
With respect to the food and beverage retail sectors, UFCW Canada members are on the front lines working to help Canadians get the food, beverages, supplies, and sanitation products they need to stay healthy and safe. Our union is asking members of the public who are ill, recently traveled abroad, or are presenting symptoms of COVID-19 to please stay home to avoid putting workers and their families at risk.
By working together and following the advice of our governments and public health officials, we can help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect our collective wellbeing.
* NOTE: This fact sheet will be updated as new details and advisories emerge from the Government of Canada and public health officials. *