April 3, 2020, Vancouver, B.C. – As the challenges caused by the COVID-19 outbreak continue to shift, the British Columbia government and Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer (PHO), are taking unprecedented measures to slow the transmission of the disease, including in the retail food and grocery store sector.
Recently, Henry issued an order under the Public Health Act prohibiting the gathering of people in excess of 50 people at a place of which a person is the owner, occupier or operator, or for which they are otherwise responsible. Employers in the retail food and grocery store sector are asking for clarity about what this means for them.
Many retail food and grocery store owners have asked whether or not the PHO’s order prohibiting mass gatherings of 50 or more people applies to them. While this order does not directly apply to the retail food and grocery industry, the spirit of the order should be followed, the government states. This means that, for example, in large grocery stores where it is feasible to have more than 50 people present at one time, it is permissible to do so provided that appropriate physical distancing can be maintained.
Key considerations include:
Employers should reassess their work environment every day and keep updated with the information posted on the province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca/COVID19.
Click here for a copy of the guidelines providing guidance to the retail food and grocery store sector.
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