The British Columbia Government has announced new COVID -19 restrictions as case numbers continue to climb across the province. The changes will come into effect on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at midnight and will be in force for at least three weeks.
The BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced new “circuit breaker” measures today in response to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in B.C. In light of higher case counts and an increasing prevalence of several variants of concern, the following measures have been put in place effective starting midnight on March 30, 2021 and ending on April 19, 2021:
- All food and liquor-serving premises must only provide take-out or delivery service. Dine-in service is prohibited, except for outdoor patios
- Indoor, adult group fitness activities of any kind are now paused under the orders. Gyms and fitness centres are restricted to individual or one-on-one activities only including one-on-one personal training
- The Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort is now closed through to April 19, 2021, to address and prevent community spread related to non-essential travel
- Employers were reminded to employ work from home measures as much as possible, if they are not already doing so
- The previously announced class variance for limited indoor worship services has been suspended. Outdoor worship services may continue.
- The province reinforced the need to limit travel only for essential purposes, i.e. for work or medical reasons only
- Public health guidance for schools has also been amended to support and encourage students down to Grade 4 to wear masks while at school
- Non-essential activities continue to be limited to outside only and with the same group of ten people
Premier Horgan was asked whether there would be any further aid packages to support ailing businesses through this next round of restrictions. He acknowledged that the government is considering additional measures, especially for the hospitality industry. However, no details were provided and no new programs have been announced at this time.
Mathews Dinsdale will continue to monitor the Government’s response to COVID-19, and will provide updates and analysis on any important developments.
If you have any questions about this matter, other COVID-19 related issues, or would like any other workplace law assistance, please contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer, or refer to the Firm’s COVID-19 website resources.