9 November 2020
B.C.’s top health officials announce broad new COVID-19 restrictions
On Saturday, November 7th, B.C.’s top health officials announced broad new COVID-19 restrictions which aim to slow the recent surge in new cases across the lower mainland. These restrictions will be in place from November 7th to November 23, but this period may be extended. In an apparent effort to mitigate the economic effects of a lockdown, in a large part, these new restrictions target the behaviour of individuals at social gatherings rather than businesses. With the exception of group physical activity businesses, the province has not ordered the closure or suspension of any workplaces.
A summary of these restrictions’ effects on businesses is as follows:
- Businesses, recreation centres, or other organizations that organize or operate indoor group physical activities must immediately suspend these activities. This includes spin classes, yoga, group fitness, dance classes, any other group indoor activity that increases the respiratory rate, boxing, martial arts, hockey, volleyball, and basketball.
- Party-buses and group limousines must stop operations immediately.
- Workplace safety: As before, Workplaces must ensure that all workers and customers maintain appropriate physical distance and wear masks when appropriate. Extra care should be taken in small office spaces, break rooms, and kitchens. The main change is that all businesses and worksites must conduct active daily in-person screening of all onsite workers using the COVID-19 symptom checklist. Workplaces should be encouraging all those who are able to work from home to do so.
- Restaurants are not being ordered to close, but are being asked to review their COVID-19 safety plans and ensure that tables are spaced six feet apart, with seating limited to six people.
- Schools will remain open.
- Business Travel: travel into and out of the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley should be limited to essential travel only.
These restrictions can be enforced by police or other compliance and enforcement officials. Individuals and businesses may be fined for non-compliance.
For more information, please contact our Business Law Group.
Learn more at our COVID-19 Resource Centre.
Arthur Cullinan is an articling student in our Business Law Group.