November 24, 2020

Dear ABLE BC members and industry colleagues,

On November 19, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new verbal orders applicable to the entire province until December 7 at midnight, unless otherwise extended.

A copy of the actual order is not yet available, but additional information on the verbal orders can be found here. We will distribute a copy of the public order when it becomes available.

We know many of you have questions about how the new order impacts your business. 

Additional clarification is provided below. If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC: info@ablebc.ca.

Restaurants, pubs, and bars

  • Patrons must wear a mask when not at a table
  • Employees must wear a mask
  • Events are not allowed. Events and gatherings are defined in this public order.
  • Employers must ensure that every worker performs a daily health check before entering the workplace
  • Restaurants, pubs, and bars can continue to operate if they have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and employee protocols in place
  • Maximum of 6 people at a table and patrons cannot move between tables
  • Conditions in the PHO Order for Food and Liquor Serving Premisescontinue to apply
  • WorkSafeBC will be conducting inspections to verify that COVID-19 Safety Plans remain effective. Establishments that are not compliant with plan requirements may face orders and fines, and possible referral to public health, which may result in a closure order.
  • Refer to this WorkSafeBC guide on reviewing and updating your COVID-19 Safety Plan

Note on groups dining outDr. Henry has advised British Columbians that there can be no social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or core bubble. A core bubble is defined here.

It is not your job to police who is in the groups dining out together. Trust patrons to go out with other people they trust and that are within their bubble.

Liquor Stores

  • Patrons must wear a mask inside your store
  • Employees must wear a mask
  • Events are not allowed. Events and gatherings are defined in this public order.
  • Employers must ensure that every worker performs a daily health check before entering the workplace
  • Ensure you have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and employee protocols in place. Refer to this WorkSafeBC guide on reviewing and updating your plan.

Mandatory Masks

  • Masks are now required for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces (including liquor stores, common areas in hotels, and bars or restaurants when not seated at a table)
  • Masks are required in all workplaces for shared work areas and areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained (including elevators, kitchens, hallways, customer counters, and break rooms)
  • People who cannot put on or remove a mask on their own are exempt
  • Masks for children under the age of 2 is not recommended
  • Employers are expected to inform customers and employees of the mandatory mask policy
  • A customer can be refused entry or service if they do not wear a mask

What do I do if someone refuses to wear a mask? 

  • Inform the patron there is a PHO public order requiring all British Columbians to wear masks in all public indoor settings and workplaces, including your establishment
  • You can refuse the patron entry or service if they refuse to wear a mask. We recommend doing so.
  • If you choose to let the patron in, inform them a mask will be required for future visits. Record this patron in a contact tracing log, noting their name, email address or phone number, and that they refused to wear a mask.

What do I do if someone refuses to wear a mask because of a medical condition?

  • People with a medical condition and/or people who cannot put on or remove a mask on their own are exempt
  • It is not your obligation to verify if the patron has a medical condition preventing them from wearing a mask
  • Request that the patron wear a face shield instead. You could have face shields on hand to giveaway or sell.
  • Record this patron in a contact tracing log, noting their name, email address or phone number, and that they are not wearing a mask because of medical reasons

Download signage from ABLE BC, indicating masks are required:

Events

All in-person events and community-based gatherings as defined in the PHO Order for Gatherings and Events are suspended until December 7, with the exception of weddings, funerals, baptisms, support group meetings, and business meetings.

“Event” refers to anything “which gathers people together whether on a one-time, regular or irregular basis, including a gathering in vacation accommodation, a private residence, banquet hall or other place, a party, worship service, ceremony or celebration of any type, reception, wedding, funeral, celebration of life, musical, theatrical or dance entertainment or performance, live band performance, disc jockey performance, strip dancing, comedic act, art show, magic show, puppet show, fashion show, book signing, reading, recitation, display, movie, film, meeting, conference, lecture, talk, educational presentation (except in a school or post-secondary educational institution), auction, fund raising benefit, contest, competition, quiz, game, rally, festival, presentation, demonstration, athletic, sporting or other physical activity, exhibition, market or fair, including a trade fair, agricultural fair, seasonal fair or episodic indoor event that has as its primary purpose the sale of merchandise or services e.g. Christmas craft markets, home shows, antique fairs and the like and for certainty includes a gathering preceding or following another event.”

As a a reminder, per the Public Order for Food and Liquor-Serving Premises:

  • Patrons must not sing, engage in karaoke, or dance on the premises
  • Jam and open mic sessions must not be held on the premises
  • Background music and any other background sounds must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation
  • If background music is provided by a live performer or performers or a disc jockey, a physical barrier must be installed between the performers and the patrons, which blocks the transmission of droplets, or there must be at least a three metre separation between performers and patrons

Helpful Resources


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