While most retail businesses in BC have been able to remain open since the start of the pandemic, many chose to voluntarily close to help ensure the safety of their staff and customers. Today, BC Premier John Horgan and PHO Dr. Bonnie Henry signalled that retail businesses who are closed can re-open but must follow all applicable guidance material. Every business will continue to be required to maintain a 2 metres physical distance between all persons at all times. Where that is not possible, employers will have to institute physical (plexiglass barriers) or administrative measures that minimize contact between persons. WorkSafeBC will have primary responsibility for ensuring workplaces are COVID-19 safe. Dates for reopening of in-person seated food and beverage service (restaurants, bars, nightclubs, coffee shops), casinos and personal service businesses (hair and nail salons, spas, tattoo parlours) will be announced at a later date.
Current guidance for malls, shops and stores, food businesses (including retail), and pharmacies must be followed. Over the next few weeks additional, expanded guidance material for malls, shops and stores is anticipated and is expected to include more information for apparel, jewelry and other retail formats.