By order of the PHO, all gatherings and events are suspended to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission related to social interactions. The order came into effect November 19, 2020 at midnight and will be kept in place until further notice based on direction from the PHO.
Gatherings at residences or vacation accommodations
No social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or, if you live alone, your core bubble. For example:
- Do not invite friends or extended family into your residence or vacation accommodation
- Do not gather in your backyard, patio, driveway or anywhere else on your property
- Do not host playdates for children
For most people, their core bubble is their immediate household. An immediate household is a group of people who live in the same residence. For example:
- If you have a rental suite in your home, the suite is a separate residence
- If you live in an apartment or house with roommates, you are all members of the same household
For people who live alone, a core bubble is a maximum of two people you see regularly.
PHO order on restaurants, pubs and bars
In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, people should only be visiting restaurants with their household. For people who live alone, this should be with a maximum of two people they regularly interact with (core bubble).
You must wear a mask when not at a table. Events are no longer allowed.
Restaurants, pubs and bars can continue to operate if they have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and employee protocols in place.
WorkSafeBC will be conducting inspections to verify that COVID-19 Safety Plans remain effective. Establishments that are noncompliant with plan requirements may face orders and fines, and possible referral to public health which may result in a closure order.
EPA order on masks in public indoor settings
As outlined in the EPA mask mandate order, masks are 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.
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
- People who need to remove their masks to communicate due to another person’s hearing impairment
Masks are required in many indoor public settings and all retail stores. This includes:
- Malls, shopping centres
- Grocery stores
- Coffee shops
- On public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle
- Places of worship
- Common areas of post-secondary institutions, office buildings, court houses (except court rooms), hospitals and hotels
- Clothing stores
- Liquor stores
- Drug stores
- Community centres
- Recreation centres
- City Halls
- Restaurants, pubs and bars when not seated at a table
- Sport or fitness facilities when not working out
You could be 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, including:
- Shared indoor workplace spaces, including:
- Break rooms
At this time, all non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province. For example:
- Do not travel for a vacation
- Do not travel to visit friends or family outside of your household or core bubble
What is essential travel?
Individual circumstances may affect whether a trip is considered essential or non-essential. Essential travel within B.C. includes:
- Regular travel for work within your region
- Travel for things like medical appointments and hospital visits
For example, if you live in Vancouver and work in Surrey you can continue to commute.
- Wash your hands often
- Practice safe distancing, 2 m
- Travel only with yourself, household or core bubble
- Stick to the outdoors whenever possible
- Clean spaces often
- Wear a mask in indoor spaces
First Nations communities
Many First Nations have declared a state of emergency for their communities and enacted COVID-19 community protection by-laws including travel bans for non-residents and non-essential visitors. It is important to respect these restrictions in addition to the province-wide travel advisory.
Coming from outside of B.C.
At this time, people travelling to B.C. from another province or territory within Canada should only come for essential reasons. If you do travel, you are expected to follow the same travel guidelines as everyone else in B.C.
- Review B.C. travel information
Worksafe BC Back-to-Work Safety Plan Template – Here
BC Small Business Support – covid-19_small_business_supports
Work BC PAYROLL INFOLINE Q&A – FINAL
BC Essential Services BC Essential Services
Deferred Tax Payments Effective immediately, B.C. is extending filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes until September 30, 2020:
- Employer health tax
- Provincial sales tax (including municipal and regional district tax)
- Carbon tax
- Motor fuel tax
- Tobacco tax
Delayed PST Budget 2020 Tax Changes
The following tax changes announced in Budget 2020 will be postponed until further notice:
- Eliminating the PST exemption for carbonated beverages that contain sugar, natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners
- Expanded registration requirements for Canadian sellers of goods, along with Canadian and foreign sellers of software and telecommunication services
Delayed Carbon Tax Increase
Carbon tax rates will remain at their current levels until further notice.
The tax measure announced in Budget 2020 aligning the carbon tax rates with the federal carbon pricing backstop is also postponed until further notice.
Reduced School Tax Rates for Businesses
School tax rates for commercial properties (Classes 4, 5 and 6) will be reduced by 50% for the 2020 tax year.Enhanced B.C. Climate Action Tax CreditAn additional one-time payment will be made in July 2020 on top of the regular climate action tax credit amount for qualifying individuals and families.The previously scheduled credit increase effective July 2020 remains the same.
Be informed with the most current information on COVID-19 please visit:
Assessment & updates of the local situation — Northern Health
Assessment & updates of the local situation — City of Fort St. John
Assessment & updates of the global situation — World Health Organization
BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool – Thrive Health
Whether it is a public health issue, natural disaster, or other emergencies, it is important to be prepared and ensure you have an up-to-date business continuity and disaster recovery plan. Here are some other resources to assist you in your planning.
- Resources for Canadian businesses (Trade Commissioner Service)
- Support for entrepreneurs impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19 (BDC)
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada (Government of Canda)
- Chambers Plan Information
- Practical Considerations for Business Resilience (MNP)
- Preparing Your Organization for Business Interruption (MNP)
- COVID-19 Business Impact Survey (BC Chamber of Commerce)
- Community Futures Emergency Loan Application
- United Way Covid- 19 Relief Fund
- Small Business Loan (Business Development Bank of Canada)
- Working capital loan (Business Development Bank of Canada)
- Purchase Order Financing (Business Development Bank of Canada)
- BDC’s Advisory Services experts are offering tools and support to review your financial management and operations.
- COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program (BC Hydro)
- CMHC is working to address mortgage payment difficulties.
- Export Development Canada (EDC). In partnership with the federal government and Canadian banks, EDC will ensure customers impacted by COVID-19 have access to credit.
- Employment and Social Development Canada: Several measures are available to assist employees who have been laid off, or are unable to work due to quarantine. EI sickness benefits
- Uber Eats: The company has created a support package to promote “contactless” delivery from local restaurants, which includes waiving delivery fees, and a daily payout option to assist restaurants with cash flow.
- Work-Sharing Program: Work-Sharing is a federal government adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. Temporary special measures have extended the maximum duration of work-sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for businesses affected by COVID-19
- Business Preparedness Checklist COVID-19 (GVBOT)
- Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 (World Health Organization )
- PreparedBC: Guide for Small Business (Government of B.C.)
- Crisis Communications Plan (Canadian Chamber of Commerce)
- Business Continuity & Recovery Plan (Canadian Chamber of Commerce)
Templates and Tools
- PreparedBC: Emergency Plan for Small Businesses (Government of B.C.)
- Webinar: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Managing the impact on global supply chains (EDC)
- Business continuity plan and templates for entrepreneurs (BDC)
Government of Canada COVID-19 Information Services
- Phone: 1-833-784-4397
- Email: email@example.com
Local Business Directory Status
Subsidy, grant and funding information
Youth Employment Program (Government of Canada) – funding to cover a student or recent grad’s salary, aged 15-30, for business, tech, or tech-related projects. Cost share up to $30,000/hire with a cap of 75% of salary costs
Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI) – (Innovate BC/ New Ventures BC) – driven by industry needs, and is designed for students to develop entrepreneurial and technical skills in a real-life setting. Up to $5000 per hire (max two vouchers per year), which must be matched by the company in cash/in-kind (up to 25% for the latter).
Get Youth Working – (Province of BC) – connects BC Youth to employment opportunities. This program offers a hiring incentive for eligible youth aged 15 to 24 who are unemployed, precariously employed, working for unreliable wages, or working for a wage that cannot support themselves or their family. Negotiated wage subsidy.
Wage Subsidy Program – (Province of BC) – financial reimbursement to employers who hire and train eligible job seekers who are: unemployed and receiving EI, received EI in the past five years, received maternity/parental benefits in past 5 years or are eligible for Single Parent Employment Initiative. Subsidy dependent on how much training is needed for the position: typically 50% of new employee’s wage for a period of up to 24 weeks (position must continue after subsidy ends)
Career Launcher – Digital Tech Internship – (ISED Canada) – hire an intern for 6-12 months for a digital tech job and receive a wage subsidy. The intern must be 30 or younger and starting the internship within two years of receiving their post-secondary diploma. Subsidy of up to 50% of salary (maximum $15,000); up to $3,000 can be used for training
Canada Summer Jobs – (Service Canada) – funding to help employers create job opportunities for youth. This is a great option if you’re looking to fill a role for a specific project. Covers a portion of the provincial/territorial minimum wage of summer students. For profit companies can receive up to 50% of employee minimum hourly rate for a summer hire; non profits can receive up to 80%
BC Employer Training Grant – (Workforce Development Agreement) — help unemployed and employed British Columbians access the skills training they need to adapt to the changing requirements of jobs and the labour market while encouraging employer involvement in training of their employees. The maximum an employer can receive per fiscal year (April 1st to March 31st) is $300,000 in total government funding.