B.C. Extends State of Emergency and Issues Guidance For Hotels and Industrial Camps

State of Emergency Extension

On April 28, 2020, Premier John Horgan announced the province would be extending British Columbia’s declared state of emergency until May 12, 2020.

The original declaration was made by Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General on March 18, 2020. The extension of the state of emergency was based on recommendations from B.C.’s health and emergency management officials. This action allows the provincial government to continue to use the powers provided in the Emergency Program Act in the province’s COVID-19 response.

Guidance for Industrial Camps and Hotels

On April 28, 2020, B.C.’s provincial health officer also released further industry specific guidance for industrial camps and hotels. The industrial camp guidelines build upon the guidelines previously provided for the sector on March 30, 2020, and the provincial health officer’s Order for Industrial Camps on April 23, 2020. Together, these documents are intended to assist employers in developing operational protocols to break the chain of transmission of COVID-19. The potential for transmission is particularly acute in industrial camps where workers work closely together and often live together in accommodations at or near the worksite.

Similarly, the hotel guidance is tailored to assist hotels, motels and other forms of traveler accommodations to develop operational policies in this current COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance takes into account the specific provincial health officer orders that impact the services hotels can provide (for example, food and drink services, and personal services such as health spas and salons), and addresses the particular challenges faced by hotels who are housing recent travellers to Canada or front line health care workers who are complying with self-isolation orders. The guidance addresses protections for both hotel guests and staff.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact Sari Wiens, Ilan BurkesNicole Toye or Jessica Fairbairn.

Note to our Readers: Information regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. We are working to bring you up-to-date articles as the legal issues develop and to keep our previous posts updated. Given that the legal issues related to COVID-19 are constantly changing, if you are looking for legal advice or are dealing with an issue in relation to COVID-19, please contact your Harris lawyer or a member of our COVID-19 response team: Sari Wiens, Ilan BurkesNicole Toye or Jessica Fairbairn.

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