News Release Guidance for employers: Level 3 COVID-19 winter action plan

January 14, 2022

Public Health and the Government of New Brunswick announced the province is moving to Level 3 of the COVID-19 winter action plan on Friday, January 14 at midnight. View the full release. 

Guidelines for Level 3 impact workplaces, household bubbles, public gatherings and more. Details of guidelines for Level 3

COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses and Organizations Allowing Patrons to Enter Premises to Purchases Goods or Services

Businesses that are permitted to remain open during Level 3 of the Winter Plan are required to demonstrate compliance with the Mandatory Order and Public Health Act Regulation 2021-67. This includes taking action to protect the public and workers from COVID-19.

The following Public Health guidelines issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health should be adopted by all businesses and organizations with premises that patrons enter to purchase goods or services.

Business and organizations are accountable to actively manage their operations so that these guidelines are followed by patrons and staff.

Entering Businesses

  • Signage should be visible at the entrance that states that customers should not enter the building if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and that patrons must comply with all public health requirements.

Capacity Limits

  • The number of customers inside the building must be limited to 50% of the fire code capacity, or to a safe number that supports the size of the facility and accommodates physical distancing of two meters, whichever number is lower. (Staff working on-site should be included in this number.)
    • One person per two metres squared (four square metres) of available floor space may be used as a guide to help calculate the maximum number of people who can be on the premises at one time
  • Implement measures to ensure the maximum number of customers that the facility can accommodate is not exceeded, such as:
    • Designating a person(s) to count customers entering and exiting; or,
    • in the case of small facilities, posting signage indicating the maximum number of patrons and monitoring the number present from a central point. This option is only available if staff can easily monitor the number of customers in the facility.


  • Businesses should ensure that every person entering their facility is wearing a mask compliant with Public Health requirements over their mouth and nose; and that they continue to do so for the entire time they are in the facility. Measures should be in place to prohibit individuals not wearing a suitable mask from entering the facility and to require anyone who enters without or removes a mask to replace it immediately or leave the premises.

Physical Distancing

  • Signage should be visible at the entrance that indicates the need to maintain two metres physical distancing between patrons.
  • Actively manage the flow of patrons and staff to minimize instances where people may interact at less than two metres distance.
  • Use physical line control measures at entrances to accommodate line-ups and to discourage cohorts of people waiting to get in.
  • Place markers such as tape, cones, and directional arrows to provide a visual reference of the two metres-distancing requirement and manage the flow of patrons and staff.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer in dispensers or handwashing facilities. Sanitizer should be available near doors, pay stations, and other high-touch locations for customers. Consider making wipes and trash bins available for wiping surfaces and disposing of wipes.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch areas frequently such as pay stations, bagging areas, carts, surfaces, and hand baskets. Further guidelines for cleaning can be found here: s/pdf/CDCOVIDE.pdf
  • Ensure washrooms are fully stocked at all times with liquid soap (does not have to be antibacterial), paper towels and warm running water. Electric hand dryers are another, but less preferred, option for drying hands.
  • All staff should follow good personal hygiene practices such as frequent handwashing, coughing or sneezing into an elbow, and should avoid touching their face. If gloves are being used by staff, proper handwashing is required before and after use and staff should avoid touching their face with gloves.
  • Increase air circulation if possible. Ensure the mechanical ventilation system is maintained per manufacturer’s instructions and kept in optimal working order.


  • Encourage the use of tap or credit card payments as opposed to cash. Limit the handling of credit cards and loyalty cards whenever possible by allowing customers to scan their own card. Where cash must be used, employees should wash or sanitize their hands frequently and/or use gloves that should be replaced frequently.
  • Ensure measures are in place if the physical distancing requirement of two metres cannot be maintained between the cashier and the customer.


  • Ensure staff follow public health advice if they have symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
  • Encourage staff to get fully vaccinated and get a booster when eligible.

Alternative Service Arrangements

  • Consider a designated time for elderly people, customers with disabilities who may require assistance or customers with compromised immune systems to shop prior to the general public. This time should be after a thorough cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces has been completed. s/pdf/CDCOVIDE.pdf
  • Where possible, offer online or telephone orders for pick-up or delivery.


We strongly encourage you develop a communicable disease prevention plan to learn what measures to put in place to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in your workplace. More information is available here. 

Thank you for your commitment to keeping New Brunswick workers, your customers, and our communities healthy and safe.  

Download COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses and Organizations Allowing Patrons to Enter Premises to Purchases Goods or Services.

Download COVID-19 Screening Tool signage for your business entrance

What to do if Your Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19. 

Media Resources
Media Inquiries

E-News Sign-up