June 30, 2021
Changes to Covid-19 Restrictions Coming July 1

After 16 months of on-going restrictions, our province is moving to Step 3 of the Covid-19 restart plan later this week.

In yesterday’s press conference, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that starting July 1, wearing a face mask in an indoor public space will no longer be mandatory, but certainly recommended, especially for those who are not fully vaccinated. “Some people may choose to continue to wear a mask and that’s OK – we all need to go at our own pace. The Face Coverings Order under the Emergency Program Act will be lifted and no proof of vaccination will be needed.” She added.

President Dan Goodman discussed these changes with Loblaw shortly after the announcement was made. The company indicated that they’ll continue to follow Government guidelines and that their restart plan will be gradual and thorough. Members can expect to see changes in the upcoming days and weeks. While changes to policies and procedures are formulated, the established Provincial workplace requirements to implement communicable disease prevention will include:

  • Implementing policies to support staff who may be sick so they can avoid being at the workplace
  • Promoting hand hygiene by providing appropriate supplies and reminding employees through policies and signage to wash their hands regularly and to use appropriate hygiene practices
  • Maintaining a clean environment through routine cleaning processes
  • Supporting employees in receiving vaccinations

"The last thing employers want to do is to remove the current safety plans too fast and be faced with massive set backs that force them to reintroduce restrictions" said Goodman. Every employer will move through this new restarting plan at their own pace so members can expect the various employers to advise them on the specific changes and new policies for their specific workplace.

Just like it took some time for all of us to adjust to wearing a mask, it may take some time to now adjust to not wearing a mask. We will continue to keep in close communication with employers to ensure that the changes they implement are in line with provincial guidelines. Updates will be posted as soon as they are available.

A link to the BC Restart Plan information can be found here