BC Declares Public Health Emergency in Response to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, British Columbia has declared a public health emergency pursuant to the Public Health Act.

This declaration provides Dr. Bonnie Henry, the B.C. Provincial Health Officer, with the power to issue verbal orders which have immediate effect and can be enforced by the police. Dr. Henry can also amend the Public Health Act without the legislature’s consent.

Individuals in British Columbia have also been advised to maintain social distancing measures, including keeping approximately one to two metres apart from others. All bars and clubs have now been ordered to close, and restaurants and cafes that cannot maintain appropriate social distancing measures must either close or immediately move to takeout or delivery services.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, public transportation and utilities will continue to operate, but need to incorporate social distancing measures.

We will continue to update our clients with information as it becomes available. If you have any questions about this or other COVID-19 questions, or would like assistance developing and/or reviewing pandemic plans, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer, or refer to the Firm’s other COVID-19 website resources.

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