VANCOUVER — B.C. Premier John Horgan announced the province’s multi-step post-Circuit Breaker re-opening plan yesterday. Step 1, effective today, means indoor dining can resume with a maximum of six people per table and the household bubble restriction has been removed. In Step 2, commencing in mid-June, the 10 p.m. liquor-sales restriction will be removed and banquet halls will re-open with capacity restrictions. In Step 3, commencing early July, casinos and nightclubs will re-open with restrictions and most remaining restaurant restrictions will be removed —increasing capacity with updated safety plans in place.
“British Columbians have sacrificed so much over the last 15 months to help keep people and our communities safe,” says Horgan. “We have made tremendous strides with our vaccination program, and we are now in a position where we can move forward with a plan to slowly bring us back together. As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will be closely following the guidance of public health and supporting people and businesses as we take the next steps in putting this pandemic behind us.”
Additional reopening plan highlights include:
Step 1 effective today (based on 60 per cent of the adult population vaccinated with their first dose and COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations stable)
- Personal gatherings will be allowed for households to invite five guests not from the same household.
- Indoor gatherings for weddings, theatres et cetera limited to 10 people
- Outdoor gatherings for weddings and events, et cetera limited to 50 people
- Current travel restrictions between health regions remain in place
- Masks continue to be required indoors
Step 2, effective mid-June (June 15 earliest date based on 65 per cent of the adult population with one dose and COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations declining)
- Banquet halls, movie theatres and live theatres will re-open with restrictions up to 50 people
- Health region travel restrictions removed, allowing recreational travel throughout B.C.
- Spectators for outdoor sporting events allowed up to 50 people.
- Small indoor business meetings resume with restrictions
- Masks remain mandatory indoor
Step 3, effective Early July (July 1 earliest date based on 70 per cent of the adult population with one dose and COVID-19 and hospitalization rates continuing to decline)
- Casinos and nightclubs to re-open with capacity restrictions
- Cross-Canada recreational travel allowed
- Meetings and events capacity increased
- Masks recommended indoors but no longer required
Step 4, effective early September (earliest date September 7with more than 70 per cent of the adult population with one dose and COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations remain low and stable)
- Basically, back to pre-pandemic normal, including resuming large public gatherings including concerts and sporting events with spectators.
- Wearing masks becomes a personal choice
The four-step plan was designed based on data and guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO). Progressing through the steps will be measured by the number of adults vaccinated, COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations and deaths, considering clusters and outbreaks. While there are approximate dates, the plan will be guided by data, not dates, and will not proceed to the next step until it is safe to do so based on guidance from public health and the latest available data.
Roundtables led by ministries across government will engage with industry and labour, along with WorkSafeBC and public health, to help develop comprehensive updated industry-specific safety plans, as well as engage with First Nations and municipal governments.