Shields, restrictions in place as retail opens

B.C looses provisions, allows stores, restaurants to carefully open May 19

Business in Vancouver
May 19, 2020

La Forchetta restaurant in Burnaby
— La Forchetta restaurant in Burnaby has installed plastic shields at every table.

Efforts to restart the B.C. economy got underway in earnest May 19 as the province eased restrictions on everything from restaurants to retailers.

As restaurants and pubs reopen to sit-down service, establishments serving food and liquor will not be permitted to allow more than 50 per cent of their usual capacity.

Tables must be spaced two metres apart and are not allowed to exceed more than six patrons. 

Government guidelines also require that “if practicable” restaurants will have to hang on to contact information of at least one diner at a table for 30 days in the event contact tracing becomes necessary.

Buffets are out of the question and typical menus will be replaced either by digital menu boards, chalkboards, online pre-ordering or one-time disposable menus.

Establishments are also being pushed to discourage cash and instead use tap payments.

The province requires all employers to develop a mandatory safety plan as they reopen their doors, including workplaces such as offices and salons.

British Columbians itching to shear their manes after two months will likely be facing backlogs.

Barriers are being set up in personal care businesses when physical distancing of two metres cannot be maintained between work stations for hairstylists, barbers, nail technicians and estheticians.

Ian Tostenson, chief executive of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, said he was pleased the WorkSafe guidelines are consistent with the industry’s own blueprint for reopening.

More than a week ago, the association submitted to government and WorkSafe a 14-page guide to ensure the safety of diners and restaurant staff.

Big retailers such as Hudson’s Bay Co. and Nordstrom also begin reopening May 19 throughout the province.

When shoppers step inside, they’ll likely spot physical barriers and hand sanitizer at the till.

Shoppers will also be asked to pack their own bags if they bring in a reusable bag.

Workplaces  are being encouraged to stagger starting and closing times if it’s likely crowding will unfold at entrances and exits.

Offices are also being urged to create cohorts of workers who can work as a team but who do not interact with other cohorts.

In-person meetings are discouraged in favour of teleconferences or video meetings, while workers are requested to stay away from the lunchroom. 

Copyright © Western Investor

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