The province is monitoring COVID-19 restart activities closely.

Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry says this includes amending the order for food and liquor service establishments to make restaurants and pubs safer for both employees and patrons.

In today’s update, Dr. Henry said the amended order goes step in step with enhanced worker guidance that is now available on the WorkSafeBC website.

“The requirements for this sector have been adjusted in response to small clusters of new cases in businesses, as employees spend more time together and in recognition that a safe number of patrons is highly dependent on the amount of space within each location, not the restaurant capacity,” Dr. Henry said. “The best way for us to avoid spreading the virus is to ensure everyone, employees and patrons, have the space to stay safe.”

She’s now reminding food service owners that protecting employees and patrons requires layers of protection.

“Plans need to include such things as frequent handwashing, increased cleaning, using barriers in kitchens and dining areas, and giving lots of space between tables.”

Dr. Henry added that we all want to stay safe, and we all have a role to play.

“The decisions we make and the actions we take will protect our communities and allow us to continue to progress.”

Meanwhile, 16 new COVID-19 cases were reported across the province today, with Vancouver Island’s case count still at zero.

The total number of cases in B.C. now sits at 2,709, with 187 active cases and 2,354 people who tested positive now fully recovered.

That’s a recovery rate of 86 per cent.

One new COVID-19 related death was reported over the last 24 hours, with that total now at 168.

So far, over 163,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the province.