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Nov 24, 2020

COVID-19 Update - November 24, 2020

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new orders applicable to the entire province until December 7 at midnight, unless otherwise extended.
Mask Requirements
Face coverings are now mandatory in all public indoor settings and workplace, which includes stores, grocery stores, shopping centres, and community centres, as well as restaurants and bars when not seated at a table. The order for mandatory masks was effective as of November 19. Employers are expected to enforce mask-wearing for both employees and customers, and can refuse service to a customer or entry to the business if they fail to comply. In workplaces, masks will be required to be worn in all shared areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained including elevators, kitchens, hallways, and meeting rooms with more than four people. More information on the new mask requirements can be found HERE.
COVID-19 Safety Plans in the Workplace
The province-wide orders also include updated guidance for workplaces, with employers being asked to keep their staff working from home where possible. The province is also asking employers to review their COVID-19 Safety Plans. Employers are being strongly encouraged to make every effort to provide work from home options and to put a halt to plans to return staff to offices. CLICK HERE to review the WorkSafeBC COVID-19 Safety Plan information.
We continue to closely monitor the ongoing conditions of the COVID-19 virus and its associated economic impact for our members.

UPDATE: Canada Updates Emergency Rent Subsidy Program
The federal government has revamped and update the commercial rent subsidy program and the CERS is now open to receive applications from qualifying organizations. Organizations can now apply directly for the subsidy for the period from September 27 to October 24, 2020 through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) either through your My Business Account or through a Represent a Client portal. Applications for the second CERS period (October 25 to November 21, 2020) will open on November 30.  
The CRA has also launched a CERS online calculator and application form that are designed almost identically to those of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The calculator guides applicants through a step-by-step process that allows them to determine the subsidy amount they can claim, based on the information they enter. The CERS web pages include detailed information about eligibility requirements, how payment periods are structured, and how the subsidy is calculated.  

Open Letter: Canada Needs Coherent & Consistent Approach to COVID-19
Last week, Canada’s leading business organizations issued a join letter to Canada’s premiers urging them to work together to provide coherent and consistent direction and guidelines across all levels of government in the fight against COVID-19.