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Coronavirus: Do B.C. kitchen workers have to wear masks?

Workers prepare food in a restaurant kitchen. (Courtesy Pexels: Elle Hughes)
Summary

Kitchen workers don't have to wear masks, but it is recommended if physical distancing can't be maintained

Provincial health officer order does require restaurants to limit group sizes, separate tables, and take contact info

NEWS 1130 is working hard to get you the information you need about the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are responding to your questions in a segment we call NEWS 1130 Gets Answers.

Question:

Susanna: “Are all people working in kitchen area of eateries (not limited to chefs) or dealing with preparation of foods required to wear masks?”

Answer:

No.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s most recent order for food and liquor service establishments, issued July 31, does not require kitchen workers to wear masks.

WorkSafeBC does, however, say employers should consider requiring them if it is not possible to maintain physical distance in their kitchen.

The agency also recommends restaurants and bars install barriers between workstations, establish one-way walking directions, limit the number of staff in the kitchen, create cohorts of workers who work together, and restrict access by delivery workers and members of the public.

Dr. Henry has also ordered eateries and bars to maintain a minimum distance of two metres between parties, require customers to sit, limit groups to six people or fewer, close dance floors, and take contact information from patrons to potentially use for contact tracing.

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