New Province-wide orders and implications for workplaces

The new Province-wide orders and direction from the BC government include the following measures applicable to workplaces.


  • Employers must review and redouble their efforts on their COVID-19 Safety Plan, remind employees to monitor themselves daily and to always stay home if they have symptoms.
  • Employers must make every effort to provide work from home options.
  • Workplaces must ensure that all workers and customers wear masks in common areas
  • Extra care should be taken in small office spaces, break rooms and kitchens
  • Review the WorkSafeBC COVID-19 Safety Plan documentation

Daily screening

A daily screening should already be included in every business’s existing COVID-19 Safety Plan. A list of COVID-19 symptoms and additional resources can be downloaded from the WorkSafeBC website.

Mask requirements

  • Masks are now required for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces.
  • People who cannot put on or remove a mask on their own are exempt.
  • Masks for children under the age of 2 is not recommended.
  • Employers are expected to inform customers and employees of the mandatory mask policy
  • A customer can be refused entry or service if they do not wear a mask

Masks in public indoor settings

Masks are required in all indoor public settings and all retail stores. This includes:

  • Malls, shopping centres
  • Grocery stores
  • Coffee shops
  • Common areas in hotels
  • Libraries
  • Clothing stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Drug stores
  • Community centres
  • Recreation centres
  • City Halls
  • Restaurants and bars when not seated at a table
  • Common areas in apartment buildings and condos

Masks at workplaces

Masks are required in all workplaces for shared work areas and areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained. This includes:

  • Elevators
  • Kitchens
  • Hallways
  • Customer counters
  • Break rooms

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.

To read our most recent articles and other updates on COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 Updates page.