International agricultural workers (IAWs), also known as migrant farm workers or temporary foreign workers, are considered essential workers that come to Ontario to work in the agricultural and related sectors. Housing accommodations for IAWs must be inspected by Public Health. Owners/operators are advised to consult the Ontario Housing Guidelines prior to requesting an inspection:
- Ontario Housing Guidelines
- Additionally, note that local requirements to ensure that all beds in worker accommodations must be spaced by at least 2 metres remains in place, and that bunk beds will not be approved.
Providing housing for the first time (or in new accommodations):
Every owner/operator who intends to provide housing for IAWs for the first time or in a new accommodation is advised to reach out to Public Health as early as possible in the planning process. After consulting with Public Health and local municipal departments, and once accommodations are ready for inspection, owners/operators are advised to notify Public Health no later than six weeks prior to the preferred inspection date.
To notify Public Health about new or planned accommodations, please complete and submit the Notice of Intent to Operate New Housing for International Agricultural Workers Housing Form (click here).
Existing housing accommodations:
For existing housing accommodations, owners/operators are advised to contact Public Health a minimum of four weeks prior to the preferred inspection date. To notify Public Health, please email PHI.Intake@wdgpublichealth.ca.
Province of Ontario Resources
International agricultural workers in congregate living settings continue to be eligible for free COVID-19 PCR testing at clinical assessment and testing centres.
- COVID-19 Guidance: Workplace and Living Settings for International Agricultural Workers
- Prevention, Control and Outbreak Support Strategy for COVID-19 in Ontario’s farm workers
- Financial assistance for Ontario farm businesses
- Ontario self-assessment tool
Government of Canada Resources
- COVID-19: A guide for temporary foreign workers travelling to Canada
- Federal compliance inspections
- Livestock or other farmed animals and COVID-19
Other Resources and Posters
- 911 Fact Sheets for Temporary Foreign Workers (in Spanish, Thai, Tagalog and other languages)
- COVID-19 Symptom Screening Poster and Log (in Spanish, Thai, and Tagalog)
- Reduce the spread of COVID-19: Wash your hands infographic
- Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces during COVID-19
- COVID-19: How to safely use a non-medical mask or face covering
- Other COVID-19 resources (translated resources available)
Local Vaccine Information
For general COVID-19 information, please visit our COVID-19 page.