In the post-COVID-19 work world, employers must be ready to face the new challenges of what a return to work entails. With daily press conferences and briefings people have a heightened awareness, and in some cases fear, about what the current environment looks like. With that in mind, as stay-at-home orders and restrictions start to lift and more businesses begin to open and resume “regular” operations, it’s important for employers to start putting return-to-work plans and protocols in place.
The provinces are opening back up and various guidance has been issued to employers regarding how to do so safely, but the virus still exists and it’s still contagious. Governments who have been encouraging people to stay home are now contemplating how to get people to go out when really conditions regarding the virus have not drastically changed. This juxtaposition will have an impact on workplaces.
On March 25, 2020, Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act, which would legally require any person (with the exception of “essential workers”), who arrived in Canada (by air, sea, or land), to place themselves into self-isolation (i.e., self-quarantine) for a period of 14 days, in order to prevent further spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Public Health Agency of Canada also issued a press release relating to the Emergency Order on the same day. Further details regarding the Emergency Order appear below.