The Quebec government will give $573 a week to workers who are being told to self-isolate due to the novel coronavirus.
Labour Minister Jean Boulet said the government doesn’t want workers to succumb to pressure to keep working if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms or if they have recently returned from abroad.
The provincial aid will be given out to people who can’t work because they are in self-isolation and aren’t eligible for other means of compensation, such as employment insurance or paid leave from their employer.
The people who are supposed to be in self-isolation are those who have the virus, have symptoms of the virus, have been in contact with someone who is infected or are coming back from abroad.
A form to apply for the funding will be available by Thursday and should take about 48 hours to process, Boulet said. The money will be directly deposited in recipients’ accounts, he said, so people in isolation will not have to leave their homes.
“We really want to diminish the pressure on those who are not eligible for revenue replacement programs, such as employment insurance,” said Boulet at a news conference Monday.
The government has set aside $150 million to provide the short-term financial assistance to about 65,000 workers.
The money will be available for a period of two to four weeks.
Premier François Legault said he spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier Monday and is expecting a similar program to be announced by the federal government.
He said there will be no overlap between the provincial and federal programs, once both are in place.
Legault said in order to stimulate the economy, the government will also work to speed up infrastructure spending and will announce a number of other measures in the coming days and weeks.
He said in the coming days, other measures will be announced for companies such as restaurants and theatres.