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BC Lifting COVID Mandates

March 10, 2022 Employment Bulletin 2 minute read

Earlier today, the BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced significant changes to the Provincial COVID-19 mandates as part of what she called a “balance and transitioned approach” to take place over the next few weeks.

These changes signify a significant easing of restrictions for employers and businesses and relate to the lifting of both mask and vaccine mandates, restrictions on capacity for worship services, visitation to long-term care and seniors’ assisted living facilities and requirements in the workplace.

Face Coverings

Effective March 11, 2022, the Face Coverings Order will be repealed in its entirety. This means that masks will no longer be mandatory in low- to medium-risk public indoor spaces, including indoor common spaces in workplaces (as currently required under the Workplace Safety Order). Masks will continue to be encouraged on public transit and BC Ferries, and any areas where social distancing is difficult. Individual businesses, event organizers and employers may continue requiring masks on their premises if they wish.

BC Vaccine Card

Effective April 8, 2022, the BC Vaccine Card will no longer be required. This means that proof of vaccination will no longer be required to access non-essential businesses, events and services.

Individual businesses and event organizers may continue requiring proof of vaccination for entry to their premises if they wish.

COVID-19 Safety Plans

In our article dated January 25, 2020, we provided an update regarding the Workplace Safety Order, which required all BC workplaces have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place. Effective April 8, 2022, workplaces will no longer be required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and may revert to following the general communicable disease prevention guidance from WorkSafeBC.

We will continue to monitor closely any changes relating to COVID-19 restrictions for employers, and report more details as they become available. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding these changes and how they may effect your business.

by Dianne Rideout and Kristen Shaw (Articled Student)

A Cautionary Note

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2022

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