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Here’s What B.C.’s List of Essential Businesses Could Look Like During Lockdown

Grocery Stores - Essential services

Photo: @hansonluu / Unsplash.com

As Ontario, California, New York and the U.K. join the list of places under a lockdown, B.C. may be next.

The province’s premiere John Horgan said he is not currently considering it, but as B.C. reaches more than 600 cases of COVID-19, nothing is off the table.

RELATED: Canada is Testing Up to 10,000 People for COVID-19 Everyday

“That, in my opinion, would create more confusion, rather than less,” Horgan said Monday. “Saying lockdown, saying shutdown, is very easy to do, but it’s difficult in reality.”

The premiere said the government is focusing on going sector by sector to ensure critical workers are in place. That includes areas like health care, child care and retail (in regards to groceries and essentials).

“All of that requires a methodical, thoughtful, science-based approach,” he said. “It may well be satisfying to say we’re going to shut something down, but need to make sure we’re doing it in a way that makes sense.”


Meanwhile in Ontario, businesses considered non-essential shut down, Tuesday, for at least 14 days.

And so, if B.C.’s potential lockdown is anything like Ontario’s, here’s what would be considered essential businesses and services.

Essential Businesses During a Lockdown

  • Supply chain operations – This is any business that allows others to operate by supplying them systems or services.
  • Retail that sells essential goods – This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, pet food, liquor stores as well as cannabis retailers and producers.
  • Transportation & essentials – Cabs or trucking services, as well as essentials like gas stations.
  • Hospitality – Restaurants that include takeaway options.
  • Maintenance – Cleaning services, sprinklers and plumbers, among other services.
  • Media and telecommunications – This includes newspapers, radio and TV stations.
  • Manufacturing – Businesses that process and distribute goods, products and equipment.
  • Agriculture – Farms that harvest, process and manufacture or distribute food, as well as others that support the agriculture sector.
  • Construction – Most construction projects will continue, including those dealing with health care, transportation, industrial and residential sectors.
  • Finance – The stock exchange and banking sector will continue.
  • Healthcare – Hospitals, doctors offices, labs, manufacturers and retailers of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies.

While B.C. is announcing dozens of new COVID-19 cases everyday, Health Minister Bonnie Henry said 28% of cases have recovered.

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