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COVID-19 Updates | Weekly Workplace Recap from April 2 to April 8, 2021

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Below are the key announcements from the Ontario, Alberta and BC governments that touch on workplace issues from April 2 to April 8, 2021.


Enacts Provincial Emergency Stay-at-Home Order

Effective today, Thursday, April 8, 2021, the government is issuing a province-wide Stay-at-Home order that will last for 28 days and will require everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise , or for work that cannot be done remotely. 

How the lockdown will impact business operations:

  • All non-essential retailers will close to in-person shopping, in-person dining will be prohibited and gyms and personal care services will be closed.

  • Retailers will be able to offer curbside pickup and delivery services between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

  • Big box stores will be allowed to remain open only to sell essential goods.

  • Shopping malls will be limited to curbside pickup via appointment and delivery.

  • A select group of stores will be allowed to remain open by appointment only with a 25% capacity limit.

For more information, check out this news release


Moves Back into Step 1 of COVID-19 Restrictions

Effective Tuesday, April 6, updated mandatory health measures go into effect for retail, fitness and performance activities.

Effective at noon on Friday, April 9, restaurants will be restricted to providing only takeout, delivery and patio service. Indoor in-person service is no longer permitted.

  • Takeout, curbside pickup and delivery services are permitted.
  • Outdoor patio dining is also allowed. Tables and dining parties must be two metres apart or separated by an impermeable barrier that will prevent droplet transmission.
  • Household members only, or two close contacts of someone who lives alone.
  • Contact information must be collected from one person of the dining party.

Alberta will remain in Step 1 with restaurant restrictions until further notice.

For a complete list of new and maintained restrictions, check out this news release

British Columbia

Opens Applications for PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment

The B.C. PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment is a temporary provincial sales tax (PST) program to help businesses recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19.

Incorporated businesses can apply to receive an amount equal to the PST they paid between September 17, 2020 and September 30, 2021 on select machinery and equipment, including tools, furniture, computers, software and zero-emission vehicles.

The rebate acts like a refund but is separate from the existing PST Refund process.

For more information, check out this news release

Invests $10 Million in Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up Grant Program

The Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up Grant program will support innovation and diversification in BC's manufacturing sector with a $10 million investment in small and medium-sized businesses.

The program will provide 75% of project costs to a maximum of $250,000 for individual business projects, or up to $500,000 for projects by a group of businesses.

Projects will support the following activities:

  • Demonstration or testing for prototypes of new technologies.
  • Commercialization of new technologies, products or services.
  • Improving market access or supply-chain competitiveness.
  • Identifying and applying operational improvements or increasing sustainability in supply chains.

Businesses can apply for the grant between April 15 and May 31, 2021.

For more information, check out this news release

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Sarah Visca
Sarah Visca is the Operations Manager at ConnectsUs HR, a company that provides tools & resources to quickly set up a Human Resources department.  
You can contact her here