May 07, 2021

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

Here’s what you’ll find inside today’s update:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health Region: hospitality workers can book vaccines now regardless of age
  • Vaccine program accelerating, people aged 40+ to book next week
  • New patio guidance document
  • New policy directive: Family Foodservices Term and Condition
  • Reminder: apply for Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant
  • Join ABLE BC at our next monthly Q&A: May 27
  • Enforcement measures for non-essential travel restrictions
  • WorkSafeBC expedited workplace closures: what employers can expect
  • go2HR awareness survey
  • Policy change for shared service bars on golf courses
  • BSAFE open for registration: new health and safety course

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.

As always, if you have any additional questions or need to reach us you can email: jeff@ablebc.ca or danielle@ablebc.ca.

Vancouver Coastal Health Region: hospitality workers can book vaccines now regardless of age

ABLE BC has just received notice that ‘food service workers’ in the Vancouver Coastal Health Region are now eligible for vaccines.

Workers will be able to get vaccinated this weekend and next week. This is for Pfizer and Moderna products to be delivered at the mass vaccination clinics.

Communities in this region include: Whistler, Squamish, Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Richmond. Find a full list here

Book HEREAccess code: At-Risk Worksites – 30007253663

For more information on how to book please download the attached letter from VCH and FAQ.

ABLE BC and our industry partners are working on getting this priority access for other health regions. We will update you if other regions are approved.

Liquor Retail: ABLE BC has reached out to Vancouver Coastal Health Region to confirm if liquor retail workers are included in the advance booking above. We will let you know as soon as we receive an answer.

Vaccine program accelerating, people aged 40+ to book next week

As more than 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrive in B.C. communities in May, the Province is stepping up its immunization rollout.

People aged 40 and older will be invited to book as early as next week. Invitations to book will be sent via text or email for: 

  • Friday, May 7: 46+ (1975) after 7 pm (Pacific time)
  • Sunday, May 9: 43+ (1978) after 7 pm (Pacific time)
  • Tuesday, May 11: 40+ (1981) after 7 pm (Pacific time)

People must register through BC’s Get Vaccinated system to get an email or text notification prompting them to book an appointment when it is their turn. Anyone who is not registered should register now in one of three ways:

  • 24/7, online: https://gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated
  • Through a provincial call centre between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (Pacific time) at 1 833 838-2323 or
  • In person at the nearest Service BC location

Currently, 43% of B.C.’s eligible target population of 4.3 million have received their first dose of vaccine, making way for this new age cohort to book their appointments and take the next step in the fight against COVID-19.

To register online, people need:

  • Their Personal Health Number (found on their CareCard or on the back of a driver’s licence or BC Services Card)
  • Postal code
  • First and last names
  • Date of birth
  • Email address that gets checked regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages.

New patio guidance document

To help clarify confusion around patios, the Ministry of Health has published new ‘Guidance for Outside Dining Spaces.’

This document provides information on ways to comply with the Provincial Health Officer’s Order on Food and Liquor Serving Premises, specifically the requirements for providing outside food or drink services (e.g., on a patio).

We strongly encourage you to download and review the document and ensure your patio is in compliance.

As an owner or operator, this guidance will support you when preparing or amending your COVID-19 Safety Plan and outside dining set up. This document is also being used by health inspectors.

Note from ABLE BC: 

We understand this new guidance may require some of you to change your outdoor dining set up. While this may be frustrating, ABLE BC and our industry partners are doing everything we can to keep patios open. That’s why we worked with the Ministry of Health to get clarity on what is and isn’t allowed with outdoor dining.

It is imperative operators adhere to this guidance and the conditions laid out in the public order to keep outdoor dining open. Please let us know any challenges you are experiencing with outdoor dining and we can relay that feedback to government. Email: info@ablebc.ca.

New policy directive: Family Foodservices Term and Condition

he LCRB recently released Policy Directive 21-07: Family Foodservice term and condition, Liquor Primary licensees.
Prior to this new policy, Liquor Primary (LP) licensees with a Family Foodservice (FFS) term and condition could permit minors accompanied by a parent or guardian in their establishment until 10:00 pm.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial state of emergency, and the Provincial Health Officer’s order prohibiting the sale of liquor and food and liquor serving premises after 10:00 pm, the LCRB General Manager is putting in place a time-limited measure to support LP licensees with a FFS term and condition.

Licensees with a FFS term and condition are temporarily authorized to permit minors accompanied by a parent or guardian in the service area beyond 10:00 pm.

This new policy is effective immediately and is only applicable as long as the provincial health order that prohibits the sale of liquor in food and liquor serving premises after 10:00 pm remains in effect. LP licensees do not need to submit an application to change their FFS term and condition.

Reminder: apply for Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant

On April 26, government announced it is adding $75 million to the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant, bringing the amount available for hard-hit BC businesses to over $125 million.

The grant remains open to bars, pubs, restaurants, breweries, wineries, gyms, and fitness facilities impacted by the March 31, 2021, provincial health officer’s orders. The orders remain in place until May 25.

The grant is now also open to hotels, motels, and other short-term accommodations impacted by the April 23 emergency order to restrict travel between BC’s regional zones.

With the increased funding, eligible businesses will receive up to $20,000 (double the original grant amount) to help with expenses like employee wages, rent, maintenance, and utilities. The individual amount a business received will be based on the number of employees.

Businesses that previously applied for or received the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant that opened on April 12, 2021 do not need to apply again. They will automatically receive the additional funding.

We strongly encourage you to apply now, if you haven’t already. 
Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted until June 4, 2021, or when the funds are disbursed.

Learn more and apply here.

Join ABLE BC at our next monthly Q&A: May 27

ABLE BC members and industry colleagues are invited to join us at our next monthly Q&A with Executive Director Jeff Guignard: Thursday, May 27 at 10:00 am PT

RSVP: danielle@ablebc.ca. A Zoom link will be provided once you RSVP.

What to expect during this one-hour meeting: 

  • Catch up on anything you’ve missed over the last month
  • Hear directly from our Executive Director about the state of BC’s liquor industry
  • Get an update on our advocacy work and progress
  • Ask questions about liquor policy, regulations, public health orders, and government relations
  • We’ll also be joined by members of ABLE BC’s Board of Directors 

Enforcement measures for non-essential travel restrictions

The Province has authorized site-specific road checks on travel corridors between regions to help enforce the non-essential travel restrictions that were announced on April 23, 2021.

On the advice of BC’s provincial health officer (PHO), Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, issued an Emergency Program Act order to prohibit non-essential travel between three regional zones in the province. The regional zones are:

  1. Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Coastal Health regions)
  2. Vancouver Island (Island Health region)
  3. Northern/Interior (Interior Health and Northern Health regions)

The road checks may be put in place at any time until the order is lifted at 12:01 am on May 25, 2021, (after the May long weekend). The road checks may be set up on highway corridors that connect different regions of the province to remind travellers of the order.

For more information please read the BC Government news release.

Earlier this week, Daily Hive shared where the road checks will be this weekend.

WorkSafeBC expedited workplace closures: what employers can expect

On April 11, 2021, an order of the provincial health officer (PHO) delegated specific powers to WorkSafeBC prevention officers. The order provides WorkSafeBC prevention officers the ability to serve a 10-day closure order on an employer with COVID-19 transmission when directed so by a medical health officer. 

WorkSafeBC’s role is well defined and narrow in scope, with no role in deciding which workplaces will be served with a closure order. Questions regarding the closure order itself are referred to the Health Authority Medical Health Officer. 

When WorkSafeBC prevention officers deliver a closure order to affected workplaces, they will also help the employer understand their need to review their COVID-19 safety plan and make any necessary changes during the closure period. WorkSafeBC will be available to provide guidance around reviewing and updating COVID-19 safety plans.  

Then, once the workplace has re-opened, WorkSafeBC will conduct an inspection to review the employer’s COVID-19 safety plan and ensure the employer is effectively implementing measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Findings from COVID-19 Inspections

Throughout the pandemic, WorkSafeBC been engaging employers to ensure that protocols identified in their COVID-19 safety plan have been effectively reviewed, updated, and implemented, and that exposure to COVID-19 is being effectively managed in the workplace. This includes issuing an inspection report with orders in cases where improvements to COVID-19 safety plans and protocols are required. 

WorkSafeBC recently analyzed 1,600 COVID-19 orders to identify the controls most frequently identified as needing improvement. 

They include:

Physical Distancing 

  • Ensure physical distance of 2 metres is maintained between workers and others whenever possible, especially in shared spaces; consider changing the layout of workspaces to enable physical distancing in all work and break areas.
  • Provide physical barriers such as Plexiglas if physical distancing between workers and customers cannot be maintained.

Signage 

  • Post signage that reminds workers of the controls in place, including occupancy limits, handwashing practices, health-check requirements, and entrance restrictions.
  • Use physical queue controls, such as crowd-control cones or floor markers to regulate traffic and physical distancing.

Policies and Protocols

  • Develop and post a COVID-19 safety plan that identifies and addresses the risks in all areas of the workplace.
  • Ensure there are posted policies for employer and visitor daily health screening. 

Training 

  • Ensure health and safety information and training is provided in the required languages so it can be understood by everyone at the workplace. 

Supervision and Monitoring 

  • Communicate safety programs and policies clearly to workers through information-sharing, instruction, training, and supervision to ensure the controls in place are being followed.

Facilities

  • Provide adequate hand-washing facilities on site for all workers.
  • Place alcohol-based hand sanitizer at key areas of your workplace (near pay stations, in break rooms, etc.).

Personal Protective Equipment 

  • Make sure appropriate masks are available and being used properly for the work being carried out.

For more information about all aspects of a COVID-19 safety plan, please refer to the following resources:

Reporting COVID-19 exposure claims 

A reminder from WorkSafeBC: employers and workers should continue to report a workplace injury or disease during this time, including those involving a work-related exposure to COVID-19. Contracting COVID-19 in the workplace may be considered a work-related occupational disease, and affected staff members have the right to make a claim and could be eligible for health care and wage-loss benefits.  

For information on when and how to report a COVID-19 illness to WorkSafeBC, please visit the Claims COVID-19 pages on worksafebc.com for information for both workers and employers.

go2HR awareness survey

Are you an employer in the BC Tourism and Hospitality Industry? go2HR wants to hear from you! 

Complete the go2HR awareness survey today and provide your input. All it takes is a few short minutes and your response will be anonymous and confidential. Once completed, you’ll be entered into a draw for some cool prizes. 

Take the survey.

Policy change for shared service bars on golf courses

ABLE BC Associate Member Rising Tide Consultants shared with us a recent policy win for golf courses:

The playing area of a golf course and the practice areas (driving range, putting practice areas) have to be licensed with a Liquor Primary license. Previously, to have these areas licensed they had to have an interior LP licensed area in the clubhouse.

However, now golf courses can just have a Food Primary interior area (which has greater flexibility for minors) and still have the practice areas and golf course licensed under an LP license. Patrons can buy beverages in the FP interior area and carry it to the golf course.

For more information, please refer Section 3.3.2 of the Liquor Policy Manual.

BSAFE open for registration: new health and safety course

BSAFE (BC Safety Assured For Everyone) a new, online health and safety course created by go2HR is open for employers to pre-register now

Geared toward staff in BC’s tourism and hospitality industry, BSAFE provides staff with a strong foundation in COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and assists them in understanding ever-evolving best practices. Once the course is completed, participants are awarded a certificate that demonstrates their knowledge of and commitment to COVID-19 health and safety. 

Supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, BSAFE aims to build community and staff confidence in the health and safety protocols of BC’s tourism and hospitality industry as the province navigates and emerges from the COVID-19 era. 

Learn more and pre-register now.


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