Agriculture and seafood protocol during COVID-19

Last updated: March 11, 2021

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By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), employers in the agriculture and seafood sector that provide housing for workers must:

  • Develop a COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) protocol
  • Appoint an Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator
  • Schedule a site inspection

Review the order:

Understand the order

The order applies to all agriculture and seafood operations (including processing) that provide housing for their employee(s).

Employees include:

  • Any number of employees/workers
  • All types of domestic and international workers:
    • Local
    • Students
    • Family
    • Out-of-province
    • Temporary Foreign Workers
    • Contractors

Housing includes:

  • Congregate settings such as a motel, hotel or tents
  • Housing located on the same premises as the worksite or off-site
  • Housing provided directly by an employer, facilitated by an employer, or an accommodation that an employee is required to utilize as part of the condition of employment

The employer may be directly or indirectly associated with the housing. For example, some camps are owned and operated by third parties that have a contract with an employer.

Create a protocol

The infection prevention and control (IPC) protocol should outline how the employer will prevent and control the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among workers in their place of accommodation, at the worksite and when travelling to and from the worksite.

  • The protocol must be visibly posted in accommodations and worksite and must be available to be presented to an inspector upon request

It is also recommended you complete a COVID-19 risk assessment by following the directions in the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control guidance document.

Site inspections

The order requires all agriculture and seafood employers that provide worker housing to schedule an inspection of the housing site, the worksite, and any vehicles that will be used by employees.

If you employ Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) and have already completed a site inspection, you do not require a second inspection unless:

  • It is a new calendar year,
  • You are planning to use housing sites that have never had an inspection,
  • The site will exceed the maximum occupancy that was determined by your government inspector,
  • Changes have been made to housing that have been previously inspected, or
  • There has been a change of farm ownership.

Before scheduling a site inspection, complete your IPC protocol and have it on hand. The site inspection application must be received prior to work commencing.

Temporary foreign workers

Learn about the process to receive TFWs.

Submit screening form

This process takes 30 minutes to complete. 

Domestic farm workers

You will be contacted by the inspection team.

Schedule a domestic site inspection

This process takes 10 minutes to complete.