The information available regarding the COVID-19 pandemic changes rapidly and new details about financial supports that are available to RMTs are released often. On this page, we have compiled links to relevant information regarding financial support, CMTO announcements, RMTAO advocacy and general COVID-19 information. We will be updating this page regularly so be sure to check back for the most up-to-date information available.


General COVID-19 Information


World Health Organization - COVID-19 Website

This webpage provides global statistics, guidance and advice.


Government of Canada - Public Health Agency of Canada - COVID-19 Website

This federal webpage includes COVID-19 outbreak updates, information on the disease and how to protect yourself and others, information on federal financial and economic support, travel and safety considerations, and additional resources.


Canada COVID-19 App

This app is a central resource for accessing personalized, trusted, evidence-based information about the COVID-19 pandemic across Canada.


Government of Ontario - COVID-19 Website

This provincial webpage includes a self-assessment tool, Ontario COVID-19 case status, featured updates and service changes.


Public Health Ontario - COVID-19 Website

This provincial webpage includes information research, testing and additional resources.


Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care - COVID-19 Guidance for the Health Sector

This webpage provides specific information, guidance and resources for healthcare workers


Federal and Provincial COVID-19 Announcements

Lower Limits on Social Gatherings Province Wide
The Ontario government has reduced the limits for private gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors in all regions of Ontario, after earlier lowering limits in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa

COVID-19 Screening Tool for Students and Staff
The Ontario government has launched a voluntary interactive screening tool to assist parents, students and staff with the daily assessment of COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors before attending school.  


July 31, 2020 - Toronto and Peel Moving to Stage 3

The Ontario government announced that additional businesses will be permitted to open or expand their services in Toronto and Peel as a part of stage 3 of reopening starting Friday, July 31, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.


July 24, 2020 - More Regions Moving to Stage 3

The Ontario government announced that additional businesses will be permitted to open or expand their services in more regions as a part of stage 3 of reopening starting Friday, July 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.


July 17, 2020 - Stage 3 Details and Regions Reopening

The Ontario government announced the details of what businesses will be permitted to open during stage 3, and the regions that will be able to enter stage 3 of reopening starting Friday, July 17, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.


June 25, 2020 - Windsor-Essex moving to Stage 2

The Ontario government announced that additional businesses will be permitted to open or expand their services in Windsor-Essex on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., with the exception of Leamington and Kingsville due to higher levels of COVID-19 transmission.


June 24, 2020 - Toronto and Peel moving to Stage 2

The Ontario government announced that additional businesses will be permitted to open or expand their services in Toronto and Peel on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., and other regions will be reevaluated for their suitability for reopening on a weekly basis.


June 19, 2020 - Further regions moving to Stage 2

The Ontario government announced that additional businesses will be permitted to open or expand their services in more regions on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., and other regions will be reevaluated for their suitability for reopening on a weekly basis.


June 12, 2020 - Ontario's Plan to Reopen our Province - Stage 2

The Ontario government announced that additional businesses will be permitted to open or expand their services in select regions with lower case counts on on Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., and other regions will be reevaluated for their suitability for reopening on a weekly basis.


Ontario Chief Medical Officer Directive #2 to Health Care Providers

The updated order (Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Directive #2 for Regulated Health Professionals) allows for a gradual restart of services to be carried out with adherence to guidance from the health professional’s regulatory college.


Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Operational Requirements: Health Sector Restart

this document provides operational details and requirements as listed in Directive #2 dated May 26, 2020 and outlines measures that must be in place in order to meet public health guidelines and promote a safe environment for the provision of in-person health services by health care providers.


Ontario's Plan to Reopen our Province - Stage 1

The Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government's reopening framework.


Ontario Emergency Orders

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is extending all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 29, 2020.


Ontario Declaration of Emergency

The Government of Ontario declared a provincial emergency on March 17, 2020 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This declaration of emergency has been extended until July 15, 2020.


Close of Non-Essential Businesses

The Government of Ontario has released a list of essential workplaces in response to COVID-19. Businesses that are not identified on this list must close their physical locations.


Ontario Prohibits Gatherings of More Than Five People

The Ontario government has issued an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people with strict exceptions.


College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) Regulatory Announcements


Guidance to RMTs on COVID-19 – Gradual Restart of Deferred Services

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Directive #2 for Regulated Health Professionals allows for a gradual restart of services to be carried out with adherence to guidance from the health professional’s regulatory college. The CMTO has provided this guidance for RMTs.


COVID-19 Pandemic - Practice Guidance for Massage Therapists: May 26, 2020

After the update to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Directive #2 for Regulated Health Professionals, Registered Massage Therapists are permitted to gradually resume massage therapy services following CMTO and ministry of health guidance.


Preparing for a Future Return to Practice

While we wait for the government to announce a return to non-emergency/non-urgent care by Ontario’s healthcare professionals, the CMTO announces what they are doing to help RMTs prepare for an eventual return to practice


CMTO COVID-19 Webpage

This webpage includes FAQs for RMTs, resources, and information for students, educators and exam candidates.


CMTO States Massage Therapists Cannot Practice

The CMTO announced their position that RMTs should not practice at this time. The CMTO does not view the practice of Massage Therapy as emergency care.


Financial Supports


Canada Recovery Benefit

The new Canada Recovery Benefit is open for applications from October 12, 2020 for one year and would provide a benefit amount of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who are not eligible for EI


Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they're sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.


Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care.


Canada Emergency Response Benefit

This temporary income support is available if you have stopped working as a result of COVID-19.Eligible individuals receive $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.


Canada Emergency Business Account
This account provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Canadian employers whose business has been affected by COVID-19 may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020.


Canada Emergency Student Benefit

The Canada Emergency Student Benefitprovides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19 and who don't qualify for the CERB or EI. This provides $1250 for a four week period, or $2000 for four weeks if you have dependants or a disability


Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Asssistance

Offers forgivable loans to property owners so they can reduce the rent for their commercial tennants by 75% for April, May and June.


Canada’s Regional Development Agencies - Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

This fund supports small businesses by mitigating the financial pressure experienced by businesses and organizations and preparing now for a successful recovery.


Increase in the Canada Child Benefit

Families that are entitled to receive the CCB for April 2020 and still have an eligible child in their care in May 2020 will get up to $300 extra per child as part of their regular May 2020 payment.


Ontario Support for Families

While schools and child care centres are closed, parents can apply for direct funding to offset the cost of buying materials to support their children’s learning, while they practice self-isolation and physical distancing. Eligible parents will receive a one-time per child payment of $200 for children aged 0 to 12 and $250 for children or youth aged 0 to 21 with special needs.


Goods and Services Tax Credit

If you normally receive the GST/HST credit and have filed a 2018 tax return, you will receive an extra one-time payment. If you were not previously entitled to the GST/HST credit, you may also receive the one-time credit amount based on your family net income.


Mortgage Deferral Help through Canadian Banks

Canada’s largest banks are offering mortgage payment relief to customers by way of deferred mortgage payments.Speak directly with your banking institution.


Income Tax Deadline Extension

The filing date for the 2019 tax year for individuals and corporations have been extended to June 1, 2020. The filing date for self-employed and their spouse or common law partner has been extended to June 15, 2020. The payment date for 2019 tax year has been extended to September 1, 2020


Deferral of GST/HST Tax Remittances

The CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until the end of June 2020, any GST/HST payments or remittances that become owing on or after March 27, 2020, and before June 2020. This means that no interest will apply if your payments or remittances are made by the end of June 2020.


Off-Peak Electricity Pricing

Government of Ontario issued an Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to provide a measure of temporary emergency relief for electricity customers.


Low-Income Energy Assistance Program

If you’re behind on your electricity or natural gas bill and face having your service disconnected, you may qualify for emergency financial help through LEAP.


Ontario Works Emergency Assistance

You may qualify if you live in Ontario, are in a crisis or emergency situation, and do not have enough money for things like food and housing.


Employer Health Tax Exemption

The Employer Health Tax exemption has been expanded for Ontario businesses who are unable to file or remit their provincial taxes on time due to the special circumstances caused by the coronavirus (COVID‑19) in Ontario.


RMTAO Advocacy Efforts


June 24, 2020 - Response from the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

This is a response to our earlier letter to the Ontario government advocating for financial assistance for RMTs to access the PPE they need, reiterating what the government already provides and commiting to more work in this area as required.


June 10, 2020 - Letter to the Minister of Health Regarding the June 9 Press Conference

This letter requests a correction after both the Premier and Minister of Health were unable to articulate the difference between Registered Massage Therapists and hairdressers in a press conference on June 9, 2020.


June 4, 2020 - Letter to the Minister of Finance Regarding Extending the CERB for High Risk Populations

This letter requests that those who choose to not return to work due to increased risk for COVID-19 should still be able to access the CERB. Individuals with factors that put them at a higher risk from COVID-19, have members of their household who are at higher risk, or work in higher risk settings or with higher risk populations who choose not to go back to work may not qualify to receive the CERB under the current criteria.


May 26, 2020 - CMTA Letter to the Minister of Finance Regarding Extending the CERB and CEWS

The Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance (CMTA), in which the RMTAO plays a leadership role, has written to the Federal Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, advocating for the extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for those who need it as well as for an expansion of the requirements for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.


May 21, 2020 - Response from Minister of Health Regarding Return to Work

This letter was received from Christine Elliott, Ontario Minister of Health, in response to the RMTAO letters sent on May 1 and May 4, 2020.


May 14, 2020 - Letter to the Prime Minister Regarding Financial Assistance for PPE

This letter requests financial assistance to mitigate the cost of purchasing the required PPE for our members and other self-employed healthcare providers, which would help to ensure our important services are provided in a safe environment without passing the cost on to our patients.


May 14, 2020 - Letter to the Premier Regarding Financial Assistance for PPE

This letter requests financial assistance to mitigate the cost of purchasing the required PPE for our members and other self-employed healthcare providers, which would help to ensure our important services are provided in a safe environment without passing the cost on to our patients.


May 4, 2020 - Letter to the Minister of Health RE Return to Work - Follow Up

This letter was sent as a follow up to the letter sent on May 1, 2020 to ensure that a robust strategy is in place to protect the safety for all involved before RMTs return to providing healthcare.


May 1, 2020 - Letter to the Minister of Health RE Return to Work

This letter advocated to have RMTs return to work with the other regulated health professions as part of stage one reopening.


April 9, 2020 - Letter to the Prime Minister Regarding the Canada Emergency Business Account

This letter outlined concerns relating to the qualification criteria for the Canada Emergency Account which currently excludes sole proprietors.


March 27, 2020 - Coalition Letter to the Insurance Bureau of Canada Regarding assessment and treatment services for Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) clients

This letter sent from the Coalition of Health Professional Associations In Ontario Automobile Insurance Services was sent to the Insurance Bureau of Canada with guiding principles and recommendations to ensure that Ontario’s auto insurance industry can temporarily adapt its policies and processes for accident benefits so as to ensure safe and efficient administration and delivery of assessment and care during this unprecedented and rapidly evolving crisis


March 17, 2020 - Letter to the Prime Minister Regarding COVID-19

This letter outlined concerns relating to the financial hardship of our members who are not eligible for Employment Insurance and saught targeted initiatives that will assist self-employed individuals and small business owners.


March 17, 2020 - Letter to the Premier Regarding COVID-19

This letter outlined concerns relating to the financial hardship of our members who are not eligible for Employment Insurance and saught targeted initiatives that will assist self-employed individuals and small business owners.


March 17, 2020 - Letter to the Mayor of Toronto Regarding COVID-19

This letter outlined concerns relating to the financial hardship of our members who are not eligible for Employment Insurance and saught targeted initiatives that will assist self-employed individuals and small business owners.


Patient Resources


What to Expect from Your Massage Therapy Appointment During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Improving Sleep in the Era of COVID-19


Maintaining Mobility During Isolation


Focusing on Education During COVID-19


Tips for Connecting Virtually


Relieving Stress During COVID-19


Dealing with Chronic Pain During COVID-19

Tips for Working From Home


Cross Training for Overhead Athletes


Cross Training for Running Sports


Self-Care for Massage Clients: Staying relaxed and comfortable between appointments


The Importance of Human Touch


Priorizing Your Mental Health


Additional Supports


Checklist for RMTs to Prepare for Return to Practice

Based on the CMTO guidance, the RMTAO has created a checklist of things you can do to ensure you are prepared for an eventual return to practice. This includes items to purchase, changes to your practice space and changes to your record keeping and scheduling procedures. By having these things prepared you will be well placed to follow all CMTO guidance once a return to practice is possible.


Ontario Workplace PPE Supplier Directory

Government of Ontario has launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.


COVID-19 - Tackling the Barriers

A place where businesses can submit the barriers they forsee in light of physical distancing guidelines. 


Healthforce Matching Portal

This portal allows health professionals to be matched with positions they can take on the frontline of the healthcare response to COVID-19.


Wellness Together Canada

The government has launched a portal dedicated to mental health that will connect Canadians to peer support workers, social workers, psychologists and other professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls, and will make it easier to find credible information and help address mental health and substance use issues.


What You Can Do

We’ve compiled a couple of things you can do to help your patients, make a difference and engage in self-care.


Reviewing Your Business Plan

We've compiled a step by step overview of how to review your business plan so your business can be as successful as possible once it comes time to reopen.