May 15, 2020

Dear ABLE BC members and industry colleagues, 

This morning, WorkSafeBC released their reopening protocols and guidelines for restaurants, cafes, and pubs. 

View the protocols here

We are very pleased to share the protocols are consistent with ABLE BC and our industry partners’ (BCRFA, Restaurants Canada, and the BC Craft Brewers Guild) recommendations.

We will be sending out our full COVID-19 update and more details on the protocols later today. 

In the meantime, here are some key points from the reopening protocols:

  • Phase Two of BC COVID-19 Go-Forward Management Strategy permits friends and family to get together in small groups of 2 to 6 people. Pubs, restaurants, and cafes must limit the number of people seated together to a maximum of 6.
  • Despite rumours, we have successfully ensured that establishments will not be limited to a specific occupancy. Instead, operators will need to calculate how many tables of six will fit into their space to determine their occupancy. You must allow for 2 meters between tables and factor in space for seats at the table. Booths which provide physical barriers between tables (i.e. Plexiglass barrier) will allow for more diners.
  • The maximum occupancy of the entire space can be determined using guidance provided in the WorkSafeBC COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Operators must create their own COVID-19 Safety Plan. Use theWorkSafeBC template as an example. ABLE BC will also be providing a template in the next several days, based on these WorkSafeBC recommendations.
  • You must post the safety plan on your website and have it readily available in your establishment for review by workers, customers, and WorkSafeBC inspectors. Read more about your obligations in this new Provincial Health Officer order.

Please refer to the WorkSafeBC website for additional information on reopening protocols, including recommendations for:

  • General operations
  • Table service 
  • Cleaning and hygiene
  • Kitchen
  • Delivery

You will note the new WorkSafeBC protocols do not reference a specific reopening date.

While the Provincial Health Officer Order from March 20, 2020 (restricting liquor and food primaries to takeaway and delivery and expiring on May 30, 2020) must be officially rescinded, ABLE BC is still under the understanding that pubs, restaurants, and cafes can reopen on May 19. We are working to get confirmation on this date and will provide updates as soon as possible. 

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact or Stay tuned our full COVID-19 update and more details on the protocols later today. 

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