As the start of the spring season approaches, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has confirmed that fishers who turn down work due to COVID-19 concerns will be eligible for federal benefits.

Jennifer Kuss, director of communications for the department, told Global News that people who “don’t believe it’s safe to go to work” can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), worth $2,000 per month for up to four months.

“Some fisheries have already started putting in protocols for their workers, but harvesters and process plant workers who do not feel safe going to work can apply for CERB,” she wrote by email on Friday.

Questions around refusing work due to virus-related safety concerns have been circulating across multiple sectors and industries since the start of the pandemic.

Some of the confusion stems from the federal government’s website, which states that workers are eligible for CERB if they “have not quit their job voluntarily.”

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READ MORE: Coronavirus — CERB expanded to some who ran out of EI, part-timers and seasonal workers

Calls to delay, maintain and shut down the spring lobster season during the COVID-19 outbreak are ongoing,