COVID-19

PHO Issues New Orders Regarding Personal Services Businesses, Restaurants and Pubs

On May 14, 2020, Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry signed new orders as part of the Province’s phased re-opening. These orders allow for the re-opening of personal services, and, subject to certain rules, in-person patronage of restaurants, cafes and pubs.

Personal Service Establishments

Effective Tuesday May 19, 2020, personal service establishments — such as barbers, hairdressers, nail salons and aestheticians — can resume operation. These services were previously closed by an order made on April 16, 2020, which is now cancelled.

Providers of these services should review the guidelines and protocols published by WorkSafeBC, which also include specific rules around re-opening.

The PHO’s order can be reviewed here.

Food and Drink Establishments

Also effective May 19, 2020, certain food and drink establishments may now resume in-person service, subject to specific rules. The new rules apply to specific food and drink-serving establishments, and remain in effect until further notice.

The order is focused on restaurants, cafes and pubs, but also includes some drink-only establishments such as golf courses. The new order only applies to the specific licenses mentioned, and includes requirements applicable to each. These should be reviewed in the Provincial Health Officer’s Order.

Generally speaking, food (and applicable drink-only) establishments may now serve customers in person if they do the following:

  • operate at a maximum of 50% of usual capacity;
  • arrange seating to provide at least 2 metres of physical distance between patrons not in the same party;
  • physically distance 2 metres between all patrons not in the same party, and from staff;
  • seat no more than 6 patrons at one table;
  • if practicable, retain contact information of one member from every party for 30 days, in case there is a need for contact tracing.

In addition, events of more than 50 people are prohibited (which does not necessarily limit occupancy to 50 people at all establishments). And, certain holders of “Manufacturer’s Onsite Lounge” or “Tasting Room Endorsements” which serve liquor but do not serve food must limit occupancy to 50 people.

It is important to underscore that only specific businesses are covered by the order, which should be reviewed carefully to ensure compliance. Notably, many holders of liquor licenses, such as nightclubs, are not mentioned in the order and must remain closed.

Restaurants, cafes and pubs that are reopening should review the guidelines and protocols published by WorkSafeBC, which also include specific rules.

The PHO’s order can be reviewed here.

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.

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

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