Feds loosening restrictions on EI as number of coronavirus cases rise

The federal government is rolling out a $1 billion funding package to help provincial health-care systems cope with the increasing number of new coronavirus cases and to help Canadian workers who are forced to isolate themselves.

The Liberals are loosening restrictions on employment insurance payments for people who are off work due to illness by waiving the waiting period for benefits. This would also make it easier for people with more precarious jobs to stay home and avoid infecting others, by quickly getting them money so there isn’t a disruption in income.

Read: North American employers taking steps to protect staff from coronavirus

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is already preparing to do more if need be to provide the right kind of support to Canadians as the situation progresses. He said Canada has been fortunate so far but the country needs to be prepared for all scenarios.

The illness has sickened more than 100,000 people around the world and led to mass quarantines and restrictions on public gatherings.

More information on the Canadian EI program is available here.