CULTURE

The Restart of British Columbia: Getting Life Back to Normal?

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Getting back to normal? Last year, this question was a mystery. Starting May 25, the Government of British Columbia has planned 4 phases to restart our social lives, businesses and activities. 

Public Health Order (PHO) Guidance

*If you or anyone in your social circle feels sick, you must stay home and get tested as soon as possible.

Step 1 & 2Physical distancing and wearing of masks continues to be required in public indoor buildings and environments.
Step 3Masks are to be recommended in public indoor settings
Engage carefully in social contact
Step 4Masks will be anticipated to be a personal choice in public indoor settings.
Social contact as per norm can now be accomodated.

Step 1: Starting May 25

The requirement for Step 1 is having at least 60% of the 18+ population vaccinated with their first dose. In this phase, stable case counts and hospitalizations due to the virus are being considered. 

Things you can do

Personal GatheringOutdoors
You can meet up to 10 people while being outside.

Indoors
You can have a gathering up to 5 people or 1 other household member inside spaces.
Organized GatheringOutdoors
You can have seated organized gatherings of up to 50 people.

Indoors
Indoor Seated gathering will be up to 10 people.
TravelRecreational travel within travel region is allowed.
Non-essential travel between travel regions is still restricted.
BusinessesBoth Indoor and outdoor can have dining for up to 6 people (not restricted to your household or bubble).
Offices and WorkplacesOffices can start and plan their gradual return. However, COVID-19 Safety Plan and daily health checks must still be in place.

Step 2: Earliest start date June 15

The requirement for Step 2 is at least 65% of the 18+ population vaccinated with their first dose. Also, this phase takes into consideration stable case counts and hospitalizations due to the virus. 

New things you can do

Personal GatheringOutdoors
You can now meet with up to 50 people outside.
Organized GatheringIndoors
Indoor Seated gathering has increased up to 50 people with a Safety Plan.
TravelTravel restrictions is anticipated to be lifted. Recreational travel with British Columbia province is allowed. The transit and ferries in British Columbia is expected to have increased services.
BusinessesAlcohol can be served up to 12 o’clock midnight. Banquet halls are now in operation with a limited number of capacity and a safety plan.
Offices and WorkplacesContinued return to the workplace. Small in-person meetings are to be allowed.
Sports and exerciseIndoor high intensity group exercise with reduced capacity will be allowed. Indoor games or sports and practices are to be allowed for both youth and adults. Spectators for indoor sports activities are not allowed whereas outdoor spectators can be up to 50 people present.

Step 3: Earliest start date July 1

The requirement of Step 3 is at least 70% of the 18+ population vaccinated with their first dose, Low case counts and low hospitalizations due to the virus are still in consideration with this step. 

Things that will be allowed

* Businesses and Workplaces must operate based on a new sector COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Personal GatheringThe return to indoors and outdoors personal gatherings including sleepovers.
Organized gatheringsFairs, festivals and other organized gatherings of both indoors and outdoors with an increased capacity and safety can operate with a safety plan in place.
TravelRecreational travel is anticipated to be Canada-Wide.
BusinessesNo more group limits for indoor and outdoor dining. Alcohol service restriction to be lifted. Bingo, casino and night clubs can now operate with limited amount of capacity.
Offices and workplacesThe return to workplaces continues and seminars and bigger meetings can now be conducted.
Sports and exerciseAll indoor fitnesses are allowed as per the usual capacity.

Step 4: Earliest start date September 7

The requirement of Step 4 takes more than 70% of the 18+ population vaccinated with their first dose.

Back to the way it was?

Personal GatheringReturn back to normal personal gatherings and social contact.
Organized GatheringLarge gatherings at increased capacity can now be hosted. For instance, people can now attend concerts.
TravelCanada-wide recreational travel is anticipated to be allowed.
BusinessesBusinesses will operate based on the new safety guidelines and updated Safety Plan.
Offices and workplacesOffices are anticipated to be fully reopened.
Sports and exerciseIncreased indoor and outdoors spectators and return to normal sport competitions with an updated safety plan.

Disclaimer: The information from the newsletter is directly derived from Government of British Columbia, Canada. The material and information contained on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Although best efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of all information. As information may change without notice, always refer to the Government of British Columbia Website.

Source: BC Restart Plan

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