Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Dear Colleagues and Members,
Whether you are a working sommelier, a student, or a treasured supporter of our fine hospitality industry, there’s no doubt that recent events around the COVID-19 pandemic have already had a profound impact on your life.


And as if the challenges of self-isolation and social distancing aren’t enough, many of us have lost our incomes and hit some major roadblocks as businesses, restaurants, theatres, special event spaces and schools are shuttered.

As we work together to minimize the threat there are new challenges and new rituals of behaviour. In these tough and cautious times, we need to keep in touch and rally together. The CAPS Ontario #sommunity is 100% here for you. Below is a short list of resources and measures to help out until we get back to business as usual:

  1. Access Employment Insurance: Here’s how – check this link: (
  2. Check in. Share information. Stay in touch with your colleagues and co-workers by phone email or via @CAPSOntario social media. If you or anyone you know develops symptoms such as: fever, cough or shortness of breath call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or Toronto Public Health at 416 338-7600. Anyone who has travelled out of country needs to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Share this post along with these key links for self assessment and updates:

    COVID-19 Self Assessment:   

    Public Health Ontario Resource page:

    Government of Canada:

  3. Buy local. Wines and spirits are available by private order from local agent suppliers as well as via the LCBO on delivery. Support your local wineries, breweries and distilleries, agents, and their hard working staff. Grab takeout and delivery from your favourite places, or grab gift cards to use later to help them weather this.
  4. Speak up. Lobby. CAPS Ontario is teaming up with industry stakeholders to ensure the proper allocation of resources for those hit hard by COVID-19 and related closures. Those working on the front lines of the hospitality industry in our bars, restaurants and hotel establishments.

    We’ll have a petition for you to sign very soon. Add your voice. Watch this space.

  5. Reach out for help. It’s okay – get proper counselling – talk to a professional. Here’s a list of links and resources:

    Virtual mental health support: 

    CAMH resource page:

    Globe and Mail article, on pandemic anxiety:

    Stay in touch. We need to check in on each other. If CAPS Ontario can help you spread your message, or to or share resources  through our newsletter/social channels contact: or reach out to any or all of us on the board – we are here for you. Find us at

Take care of yourself. You are not alone. We feel your pain – let’s work together to support each other. We will get through this. 
The CAPS Ontario Board of Directors