CRA indicates that a COVID lockdown closing a travel agency office qualified as a “public health restriction” even if the personnel continued bookings from home

Element B of the rent subsidy formula in s. 125.7(2.1) provides a “rent top-up percentage” for a qualifying renter in respect of a qualifying property that is subject to a “public health restriction” in the qualifying period, which in very rough terms, references a COVID lockdown measure requiring the cessation of activities (“restricted activities”) of the eligible entity at the property (para. (f)) from which at least 25% of its qualifying revenues for the prior reference period were derived (para. (g)).

The Directorate indicated that the para. (f) test would likely be satisfied by a travel agency that was required to close its office due to COVID lockdown measures, so that its employees started working from home, assuming that clients, prior to the lockdown, had been making in-person visits to the office to arrange travel bookings. It indicated that there were insufficient facts provided to conclude on the para. (g) test, but made the bold statement:

[I]f, during the relevant prior reference period, all activities were performed in-person at the travel agency, then it may be reasonable to conclude that at least approximately 25% of its qualifying revenues in the prior reference period, that were earned from the qualifying property, were derived from the restricted activities.

Neal Armstrong. Summary of 7 June 2021 Internal T.I. 2020-0873601I7 under s. 125.7(1) - public health restriction.