Special Edition | Clarity on New Restrictions, Federal Support Eligibility Expanded

Clarity on How New Restrictions will Impact Accommodators

In a press conference yesterday, the province announced new restrictions citing the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. These are in addition to the measures that were implemented on Monday, December 20th.

The new measures will go into effect December 22nd, 2021 at 11:59pm and will last until January 18, 2022 at 11:59pm. As a reminder they include:

In our newsletter yesterday, we asked that you reach out to us with your questions. Thank you to all of you who did. We engaged with the Ministry of Health, and have since received clarity on how these new measures will impact accommodators.

Please note the official orders have not been published yet but will be made available here. We have been advised that they will be published today.
  • Business Meetings and Events (ie. meetings, conferences, trade shows, exams):
  • Business meeting and events may continue to operate in accordance with the PHO on gatherings and events, ensuring they are at a reduced 50% capacity for the space they are in.

  • Gatherings & meal Events in Ballrooms (ie. Christmas brunches, tours, group meals for example.)
  • If the events operate like a restaurant and follow the restaurant rules (ie. 6 people per table, two metre spacing between tables, proof of vaccination checking) then they are permitted. 
  • In the PHO, the Ministry of Health will be specific that the events that are not allowed are a gathering for the purpose of acknowledging or celebrating a significant event, such as a birth, a birthday, a coming of age, an upcoming marriage, a promotion, the receipt of an award, a retirement or a celebration of life.

  • Hotel Fitness Centres and Facilities (ie. gyms, saunas, hot tubs, pools, steam rooms)
  • These have been exempted from the PHO if they are just used for guests. Once again, proof of vaccination is not required for use within a hotel setting. This also included strata hotel properties.

  • Household Gatherings
  • In yesterday’s briefing Dr. Bonnie Henry mentioned household gatherings were limited to 10 people. The legal order will outline a household plus 10 individuals – this includes children, and individuals 12 and over must be vaccinated. 
  • As it relates to vacation rentals, gatherings are limited to one household plus one other household.

Should you have further questions, please continue to reach out to our team. You may send your questions to kelsey@bcha.com.

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Canada Reintroducing PCR Test for Any Length of Travel Abroad
Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced the federal government’s intention to temporarily expand eligibility for key support programs to ensure Canadians are protected and workers and businesses get the help they need to sustain them through new and necessary public health restrictions.

Using regulatory authority provided in Bill C-2, the government intends to introduce new regulations that would:

  • Expand the Local Lockdown Program to include employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more; and reduce the current-month revenue decline threshold requirement to 25 per cent. Eligible employers will receive wage and rent subsidies from 25 per cent up to a maximum of 75 per cent, depending on their degree of revenue loss. The 12-month revenue decline test continues to not be required in order to access this support.

  • Expand the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to include workers in regions where provincial or territorial governments have introduced capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more. As announced previously, this benefit will provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly affected by a COVID-19-related public health lockdown, and who have lost 50 per cent or more of their income as a result.

These updated regulations will apply from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022, during which time it is expected that public health authorities will continue to implement “circuit-breaker” restrictions that limit the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 across Canada.

More details on the expansion of these support measures are available in the backgrounder associated with today’s announcement.
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