December 03, 2020
Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues,
Here’s what you’ll find inside today’s update:
- New survey: tell us how your business is doing
- New PHO Public Order: Gatherings and Events
- ABLE BC Webinar Recap: COVID-19 Regulations and Advocacy Work
- Upcoming ABLE BC Webinar on December 10: What to do if you have a COVID-19 outbreak
- Government of Canada releases Fall Economic Statement 2020
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
- Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
- Medical exemption for mandatory masks
Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.
New survey: tell us how your business is doing
Our industry partner, the BCRFA invites you to complete a new survey to tell us how your business is doing. They need your help to gather a current picture of the restaurant, bar, and pub response to COVID-19.
Please take 3 minutes to share the impacts the COVID-19 response and regulations are having on your business. We know that businesses across the province have had different experiences. The range of your experience is valuable.
Only aggregated responses will be shared. Our goal is to speak to newly appointed BC cabinet ministers and Public Health Officers to continue to advocate for support and program help in the months to come.
Complete the survey here.
New PHO Public Order: Gatherings and Events
On December 2, the Provincial Health Officer released an updated public order for Gatherings and Events.
The order is addressed to:
- Residents of British Columbia
- Operators and occupants of vacation accommodation
- Owners and occupants of private residences
- Owners and operators of places
- Persons who organize events
- Persons who attend events
- Persons who own, operate, or are passengers in perimeter seating vehicles or perimeter seating buses
- Medical health officers
The order repeals and replaces Dr. Henry’s order of November 10, 2020 (with respect to gatherings and events) and November 13, 2020 (with respect to COVID-19 prevention regional measures).
The order confirms Dr. Henry’s oral order of November 19, 2020 with respect to gatherings and events.
Highlights of the order:
- A place that is subject to the Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order cannot be used for an event, including private events, with the exception of hosting a support group meeting, a meal provided without charge to people in need, a wedding, baptism, or funeral, a program for children or youth, or sport for children or youth.
- There cannot be more than 50 patrons at a support group meeting, a meal provided without charge to people in need, or a program for children or youth, and not more than 10 patrons present at a wedding, baptism or funeral.
- The above permitted events can only proceed if conditions are met: see page 6 of the public order.
- No person may permit a place to be used for, or organize or host, a reception or gathering, before or after a wedding, baptism, or funeral, unless the people present all reside in the same private residence.
- No person may attend a reception or informal gathering at any place, either before or after a wedding, baptism, or funeral, unless the people present all reside in the same private residence.
For more information:
- Public order for Gatherings and Events (updated on December 2, 2020)
- Public order for Food and Liquor Serving Premises (updated on October 9, 2020)
- BC Government province-wide restrictions
Note on the order’s expiry:
The province-wide restrictions, including the new Gatherings and Events public order are in effect until December 7, 2020 at midnight, unless extended by Dr. Henry.
We know many of you are wondering if the orders will still be in effect for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Regrettably, that information is not yet available, but we will provide an update as soon as we can.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact ABLE BC: email@example.com.
ABLE BC Webinar Recap: COVID-19 Regulations and Advocacy Work
On December 3, ABLE BC hosted a webinar on current COVID-19 regulations and our advocacy work.
Note: the recording begins partway through the presentation. We apologize for the inconvenience and encourage you to reach out if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources referenced during the webinar:
- BC Liquor Conference Presentation by Western Financial Group: Why is my insurance so expensive?
- ABLE BC Digital and Laminated COVID-19 Signage
- ABLE BC COVID-19 Resource Page
- FAQ: What to do if you have a COVID-19 outbreak
- ABLE BC Member Benefits
- Sign-up for ABLE BC Membership
Upcoming ABLE BC Webinar on December 10: What to do if you have a COVID-19 outbreak
Join ABLE BC and industry experts for a free webinar on December 10 about what to do if you have a COVID-19 outbreak in your workplace, including the steps to follow and how to effectively communicate with and restore confidence in your patrons.
REGISTER HERE. A Zoom link will be provided by email prior to the webinar. Members and non-members are welcome to attend.
- Date: Thursday, December 10, 2020
- Time: 11:00 am to 12:00 pm PT
- Location: Zoom [download here]
Government of Canada releases Fall Economic Statement 2020
On November 30, the federal government released its Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19: Fall Economic Statement 2020.
The Fall Economic Statement proposes new measures to see Canadians through the pandemic and support a robust and resilient recovery, including:
- To fight COVID-19, investments in testing and tracing, procurement of personal protective equipment, and a suite of measures to protect people in long-term care, and $150 million to improve ventilation in public buildings and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- To support businesses big and small through the second wave, increasing the maximum rate of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to 75 per cent for the period beginning December 20, 2020 and extending this rate until March 13, 2021, and extending the current rates of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support until March 13, 2021. Both programs will be there for businesses until June 2021.
- To support Canada’s hardest-hit industries, like tourism, hotels, arts and culture, and the air sector, new support including the new Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program.
- To help families with young children through the pandemic, provide temporary support of up to $1,200 in 2021 for each child under the age of six for families entitled to the Canada Child Benefit.
- To make a down payment on our recovery, support for Canadians to make their homes greener and more energy efficient, a plan to plant 2 billion trees and laying the groundwork for a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System.
Read the full statement here.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
The federal government is also providing a new emergency rent subsidy for businesses that will go directly to tenants, not landlords. Further details are provided below.
As of November 23, businesses can apply for the new subsidies and the subsidies are retroactive to the beginning of October 20. Changes to the CEWS as of November 19, 2020:
- Extended to June 2021
- The maximum subsidy rate for periods 8 to 10 will remain at 65% (40% base rate + 25% top up)
- New top up calculation used for periods 8 to 10
- Deadline to apply is January 31, 2021, or 180 days after the end of the claim period, wherever comes later
- Starting in period 9, the calculation for employees on leave with pay now aligns better with EI benefits
- Full details here
Learn more and apply for the wage subsidy here.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
On November 20, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government is also providing a new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) for businesses that will go directly to tenants, not landlords.
Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.
This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.
If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.
Learn more and apply here.
Medical exemption for mandatory masks
As outlined in the mask mandate order, masks are now required for everyone in many public indoor settings. A face shield is not a substitute for a mask as it has an opening below the mouth.
Note: nothing in the mask mandate order prevents an operator from having additional requirements in relation to face coverings.
There are exemptions for:
- People with health conditions or with physical, cognitive or mental impairments who cannot wear one
- People who cannot remove a mask on their own
- Children under the age of 12
Masks are required in many indoor public settings and all retail stores. This includes:
- Liquor stores
- Restaurants, pubs and bars when not seated at a table
- Malls, shopping centres
- Coffee shops
- Community centres
Individuals are subject to a $230 fine if you:
- Do not wear a mask in an indoor public setting, unless you are exempt
- Refuse to comply with the direction of an enforcement officer, including the direction to leave the space
- Engage in abusive or belligerent behaviour
Masks at workplaces and shared living areas
It is strongly recommended that masks be worn in the following areas:
- Common areas in apartment buildings and condos
- Shared indoor workplace spaces, including: elevators, kitchens, hallways, and break rooms
What do I do if someone refuses to wear a mask because of a medical condition?
- People with health conditions; people with physical, cognitive or mental impairments who cannot wear a mask; people who cannot remove a mask on their own; and children under the age of 12 are exempt from wearing a mask.
- It is not your obligation to verify if the patron has a medical condition or impairment that prevents them from wearing a mask. You can let this person into your establishment.
- Request that the patron wear a face shield instead if possible.
- Record this patron in a contact tracing log, noting their name, email address or phone number, and that they’re not wearing a mask because they are exempt.
Mandatory Mask Signage:
If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC: email@example.com.