British Columbia Health Officer Imposes New COVID-19 Orders For Lower Mainland Employers and Individuals

On Saturday, November 7, 2020, the Provincial Health Officer issued new orders affecting individuals and businesses in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health Regions. The orders target social gatherings, group physical activities and workplaces, and are in effect from November 7 to November 23rd, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.

Social Interactions Limited

For this two-week period, individuals are expected to:

  • only socialize with their immediate household; and
  • refrain from attending or holding social gatherings of any size with anyone outside of their immediate household, including outdoor gatherings.

Group Physical Activities

Certain indoor sport and group physical activities must be suspended by businesses and organizations that offer them. This includes indoor sports where physical distancing cannot be maintained (e.g. boxing, hockey, basketball) as well as group activities such as spin, yoga, and dance classes.

Party Buses and Limousines

Party-buses and limousines have been ordered to stop operating immediately.

Workplace Safety

At all businesses and worksites, daily in-person screening of all onsite workers must occur. This involves screening staff for symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Employers must also ensure physical distancing and the wearing of masks (when physical distancing is not possible) is taking place, particularly in common areas of small offices.

During her announcement, the Provincial Health Officer also indicated that workplaces should be encouraging staff who are able to work from home to do so.


While not outright banned, non-essential travel inside and outside the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley should be limited to essential travel only.

No formal orders have been released yet, but the government has provided a summary of the orders on their website, here.

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.

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