As public spaces close and officials recommend that Canadians stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, some Quebecers are facing financial strain. Now, the provincial government is stepping in to help. A new program will provide funds to people "who are not eligible for an income replacement program and who are subject to an isolation measure," according to a press release.

"In this way, the government hopes that no one will be concerned about the loss of income caused by isolation."

Only workers who are in isolation because of these circumstances will be compensated:

  • "they have contracted the virus or are showing symptoms;"

  • "they have been in contact with an infected person;" or

  • "they are returning from abroad."

Further, they must:

  • not be compensated by their employers during isolation

  • not have private insurance

  • and not be "covered by government programs, including federal employment insurance."

"The lump-sum payment to an eligible person is $573 per week for a period of 14 days of segregation. Financial assistance will be paid by bank transfer or prepaid card," the press release concludes.

"I am aware that Quebecers are being asked to do a lot," says Quebec Premier François Legault.

"The various restrictions we have announced are upsetting the lives of many, including many workers. The program we are announcing today will help us encourage those affected by the restrictions to comply with them."

He underlines that the financial assistance program will minimize the risk of public exposure and further propagation of the coronavirus.

This is just the latest measure designed to help Quebec residents during the pandemic.

Hydro-Québec earlier announced that it would extend its winter moratorium on cutting power when customers are unable to pay for the service.

The Crown corporation is also moving scheduled outages for maintenance to ensure that residents are able to work from home without interruption.

More information on the new provincial financial assistance program is available on the website of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Solidarity here.

Applications open March 19.

More information on recommended hygienic practices during the COVID-19 pandemic is available on the government of Canada's website here.

Stay tuned for updates.

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