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Reopening Guidelines for Tourism Businesses

COVID-19 and returning to safe operation

The links below provide guidelines around best practices for different types of tourism-related sectors for handling COVID-19 requirements as they restart or ramp up operations in the COVID-19 pandemic. This page compiles information from various sources, such as WorkSafeBC, go2HR, Destination BC, TIABC, BCHA, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Government of British Columbia, and Transport Canada. It also includes example protocols of measures businesses have undertaken to protect customers as they re-open.
Guidelines have been released for the following sectors relevant to BC’s tourism industry:

  • Restaurants, cafes and pubs;
  • Museums, art galleries and libraries;
  • Retail; and
  • Parks and outdoor spaces.

While hotels are included in Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan, interim guidance is available for the hotel sector. Operators of hotels, motels, hostels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and other forms of travel accommodation are encouraged to refer to the interim guidance document from the Province of BC and BC Centre for Disease Control and the BC Hotel Association Tourism & Hospitality COVID-19 Health & Safety Best Practices document.

All employers are required to develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan that outlines the policies, guidelines, and procedures they have put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This plan follows the six steps outlined on COVID-19 and returning to safe operation. Employers must involve frontline workers, joint health and safety committees, and supervisors in identifying protocols for their workplace.

Businesses do not need a formal plan in place to begin operation, but are expected to develop it while protecting the safety of workers. Employers are not required to submit plans to WorkSafeBC for approval, but in accordance with the order of the Provincial Health Officer, this plan must be posted at the worksite. During a WorkSafeBC inspection, employers will be asked about the steps they have taken to protect their workers or to see the plan if it has been developed.

Individual businesses will not be required to open as of a certain date. They will need to consider their own circumstances, as well as those of their employees and customers, on when opening is right for them. These protocols are not a list of requirements; however, they should be considered and implemented to the extent that they address workplace risks. Employers may need to identify and implement additional protocols if these do not sufficiently address the risk to workers.