Hotel Industry Update
Premier Outlines Plan to Restart BC Safely
British Columbians will move forward with safely restarting their province beginning in mid-May, according to a plan announced by Premier John Horgan.

Under BC’s Restart Plan, government will work closely with public health officials, businesses and labour organizations to lift restrictions in phases, gradually allowing for more social and economic activity, while closely monitoring health information to minimize the risk to the public.
Restarting economic activity will look different in BC than in other jurisdictions, because only a small number of sectors in the province were closed by public health order. Many other provinces are just now reaching the level of safe operations BC has been able to maintain throughout the pandemic.

BC is currently in Phase 1 of the restart plan. Phase 2, which will begin in mid-May, includes:
  • small social gatherings;
  • a resumption of elective surgeries and regulated health services like physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropractors and in-person counselling;
  • provincial parks open for day use;
  • opening more non-essential businesses in keeping with safe operations plans;
  • recalling the provincial legislature for regular sittings.

Essential businesses that have remained open during the pandemic, so far, have done so safely with the support of WorkSafeBC. Government will build on this successful experience by supporting all businesses as they take steps toward a successful reopening. Sectors that were ordered closed will be asked to work with WorkSafeBC to develop plans to reopen safely. WorkSafeBC is developing industry-specific guidance to help employers bring workers and customers back safely. Any business restarting operations must ensure it is in compliance with the provincial health officer’s orders and in accordance with occupational health and safety guidance provided by WorkSafeBC.

The target date for the start of Phase 3, which will include opening up of additional businesses and services, is between June and September 2020, if transmission rates remain low or in decline.

Phase 4 will only be achieved when the threat of COVID-19 has been significantly diminished through widespread vaccination, broad successful treatments, evidence of community immunity, or the equivalent.
INDUSTRY WIN: Government creates COVID-19 temporary layoff period
The province has adjusted the rules for employers who've had to reduce their workforces due to COVID-19.

This week, the B.C. government announced that the temporary layoff period under the Employment Standards Act has been extended from 13 to 16 weeks if the employee agrees over any 20-week period if the layoffs were related to the pandemic.

After 16 weeks, the classification changes to "permanent layoff", which means workers must be given written working notice of termination and/or severance pay.

Last month, the B.C. government announced that workers could take unpaid, job-protected leave if they couldn't work due to COVID-19.

In addition, the province has changed the Employment Standards Act to allow for up to three days of unpaid, job-protected leave for those who can't work due to illness or injury.
Air Canada CleanCare+ Program 
Air Canada is introducing a new program, called Air Canada CleanCare+ and includes the following:
 
  • Mandatory pre-flight customer temperature checks, the first in the Americas
  • More Personal Space in Economy Class at least until June 30, 2020
  • Personal care kits containing disinfectant and safety items
  • Electrostatic cabin spraying to reinforce aircraft grooming protocols
  • Revised food product minimizing crew and passenger contact
  • Customer Face-coverings and Employee Personal Protective Equipment now mandatory
 
This new program is designed to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 as we prepare to restart our operations and contribute to re-opening the Canadian economy.
The BC Hotel Association Launches Education Program for BC’s Hospitality Industry
Recently launched, the BC Hotel Association revealed a new education program designed to fit a constant state of learning and innovation for the province’s accommodation sector. The program will capture key elements of the day-to-day operations for hospitality and is applicable to all levels of employees, from operations to supervisory to senior leadership roles.   

In partnership with notable learning centres such as Royal Road University, Kennedy Training Network, David Lund Financial Coach, and go2HR, the program will be offered at a significant discount across relevant operations such as Front-Line Training, Workplace Safety, Sales, Revenue Management, and Performance Management, Financial Leadership, and more.   

All hospitality entities throughout the province (inclusive of B&B’s, hostels, hotels, inns/lodges/resorts, motels, recreational locations – campgrounds), will be able to access this program during these challenging times as we navigate COVID-19. We welcome our partners in tourism to participate in this education programming opportunity. 

UPCOMING COURSES:

Sales Strategies
Kennedy Training Network

Human Resources
Royal Roads University
BC Hotel Association Webinar - Q&A with Ingrid Jarrett
Join us Friday, May 8th at 1 PM PST for an update on the BC Hotel Association's advocacy and government relations efforts on COVID-19, and for an open conversation with BCHA President & CEO, Ingrid Jarrett.
National COVID-19 Media Response
As you know, we've been working closely with the Hotel Association of Canada and partner provincial and city hotel associations, on an aggressive media strategy in order to reach government officials to support our advocacy work. Watch the below videos to see the sum of our efforts!
CBRE Webinar: Market Performance of the Canadian
Hotel Industry in the Current COVID-19 Environment
This webinar will update members on the market performance of the Canadian Hotel Industry in the current Covid-19 environment, in the context of national, provincial, and selected major markets, as well as by asset type.
The webinar will also explore the performance and recovery of the industry during other major incidents, and provide some insight on what the industry may look like coming out of 2020.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. ET
Join up! Tackling Covid-19: Tourism and Hospitality Resource Forum
Working with industry colleagues, the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Royal Roads University is piloting a free interactive website to help businesses get on the road to recovery. What makes the site different from other information websites is the opportunity to interact with other businesses and to share information, policies and tools. Aimed at managers and business operators, the site is organized around operations, communications and marketing, human resources, partnerships, as well as the future of the sector.

This forum will complement many of the planning efforts led by DMOs by collating information and providing a space for discussion and collaboration. The pilot site will run for 8 weeks and then retool for the longer term. Additional information will be posted each week based on feedback and need.

To join the pilot for free, please write to Geoffrey Bird at Geoff.2bird@royalroads.ca
COVID-19 UPDATES ONLINE AT BCHA.COM