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Jun 14, 2021

COVID-19 Update - June 14, 2021

BC Moves To Step Two of Restart Plan

Beginning Tuesday June 15 BC will transition to Step 2 of BC’s Restart plan, including lifting restrictions on travel within B.C.  Provincial officials stated better days are in sight, but we must continue to do our part, get vaccinated, keep our layers of protection strong and work together to put this pandemic behind us.
We can now increase our much-needed social connections a little bit more. Whether it is travelling to visit family in B.C., having a small wedding or watching your child’s soccer game.
Public health safety protocols, such as mask wearing in all indoor public spaces and physical distancing, will remain in place. Step 2 includes:  
  • B.C. recreational travel – non-essential travel ban lifted. Out-of-province non-essential travel advisory continues;  
  • maximum of 50 people for outdoor personal gatherings; 
  • maximum of 50 people for indoor seated organized gatherings (e.g., movie theatres, live theatre, banquet halls) with safety plans;
  • indoor faith gatherings – a maximum of 50 people, or 10% of a place of worship’s total capacity, whichever number is greater – with safety plans;
  • maximum of 50 spectators for outdoor sports;
  • liquor service at restaurants, bars and pubs extended until midnight; and
  • indoor sports games (no spectators) and high-intensity fitness with safety plans. 
To view the updated B.C. restart plan four-step graphic, CLICK HERE

COVID-19 Paid Sick-Leave Reimbursement Program

If your workplace does not have an existing sick leave program, you can apply to be reimbursed by the Province for up to three days of wages paid to workers for COVID-19 related sick leave. The reimbursement program is available for sick leave taken from May 20 until the program ends on Dec. 31, 2021. The application for employers to apply for the BC government’s COVID-19 Sick-Leave Reimbursement Program will be available on WorkSafeBC’s online services portal mid-June. READ MORE

Chambers and Business Associations Call for Vaccination Paid Time off Support
More than 30 Chambers including the Kelowna Chamber along with business associations from across Canada have written to the federal government asking for its support to help businesses give employees paid time off to get vaccinated. The faster we're vaccinated, the faster we can return to normal. READ THE LETTER

Available to Download: A Resource Guide for Small Business Resiliency
The Kelowna Chamber has been supporting the BC Chamber of Commerce in the development of a Resource Guide for Small Business Resiliency. In partnership with the provincial government and funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, the Resource Guide for Small Business Resiliency has critical information collected in focus groups and from consultations with different sectors and industries from all economic regions across British Columbia including the Okanagan. You can access this free guide through our #OkWeGotThis COVID-19 Resource Centre at the link below. GET THE GUIDE

Revenue-to-Debt Tipping Point: Potential for a Wave of Closures Post-COVID
We all know sectors like travel and hospitality will take longer to return to pre-pandemic revenue levels, but their growing debt load might set the stage for a large number of businesses permanently closing their doors after Canada is fully vaccinated.
In the March 2021 Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC), half of businesses in the hardest-hit sectors (such as travel, tourism and hospitality) reported they were unable to take on any more debt, compared to 34% of businesses from across all sectors. The most recent CSBC shows that employers in the accommodation and food services sector were three times as likely to lay off staff over the next year due to depressed consumer demand. Last week the Canadian Chamber released a 12-point plan to help policymakers tailor their supports for the hardest-hit sectors. READ THE PLAN

Quarantine Hotels One Step in Travel Resumption Plans but More Steps Are Necessary 
Last week’s announcement of changes to eliminate quarantine hotels for fully vaccinated Canadians is a welcome move in the gradual resumption of international mobility. This was a welcome sign, but the federal government has more work to do like providing a national reopening strategy that includes a plan for border measures with clear metrics. ´╗┐The Canadian Chamber also urges the federal government to accelerate work on digital vaccine certification to support safe international mobility. READ MORE