VANCOUVER — As the province of British Columbia continues to combat COVID-19 cases the provincial government has further extended its state of emergency through January 19.
Originally declared on March 12, 2020, this latest extension is based on recommendations from B.C.’s health and emergency management officials.
On December 16, the province also expanded its COVID-19 ticket enforcement and workplace safety measures. This included asking WorkSafeBC to enhance its inspection presence in workplaces by reducing reliance on virtual checks and move to more in-person inspections, particularly in sectors where COVID-19 transmission is occurring.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a wide variety of restaurants saw a massive collapse in business due to concerns of transmission. This has led many operators to adapt their business to ensure safety and viability through ever-changing restrictions.
Current province-wide restrictions require patrons to wear masks when not seated at tables and limit the number of people seated at one table to a maximum of six people. In order to continue operation, foodservice establishments must also have an approved COVID-19 Safety Plan and employee protocols in place.
WorkSafeBC, which oversees and enforces work-related health and safety standards, will continue to confirm COVID-19 Safety Plans with local businesses who remain open.
On December 27, the province also implemented a cap on food-delivery service fees through updates to the Emergency Program Act (EPA). The order places a short-term cap of 15 per cent on the maximum fees food-delivery service providers may charge restaurants for the delivery of each customer order and an added cap of 5 per cent for all other related services provided to restaurants for the use of their online platform.