B.C. announces 4-step restart plan to allow larger gatherings starting mid-June

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The officials in British Columbia announced a 4-step restart plan on Tuesday to allow larger gatherings in mid-June amid declining COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Premier John Horgan said “British Columbians have sacrificed so much over the last 15 months to help keep people and our communities safe.”

“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,” Horgan added.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO) said “We have been on a long and tiring journey, and now we can start to chart our path forward to brighter days ahead.”

Dr. Henry further added “To be successful in this next phase of the pandemic, we need to keep COVID-19 low and slow. To do that, we need to be slow and measured in our approach, gradually turning up the dial on how we spend time together – whether that is socializing with family, going to work or visiting friends.”

The 4-step restart plan unveiled by B.C.

Step 1: May 25

  • 60% of adult population with Dose 1
  • COVID-19 cases stable, hospitalizations stable
    • Maximum of five visitors or one household allowed for indoor personal gatherings
    • Maximum of 10 people for outdoor personal gatherings
    • Maximum of 10 people for seated indoor organized gatherings with safety protocols
    • Maximum of 50 people for seated outdoor organized gatherings with safety protocols
    • Recreational travel only within travel region (travel restrictions extended)
    • Indoor and outdoor dining for up to six people with safety protocols
    • Resume outdoor sports (games) with no spectators, low-intensity fitness with safety protocols
    • Start gradual return to workplaces
    • Provincewide mask mandate, business safety protocols and physical distancing measures remain in place
    • Return of indoor in-person faith-based gatherings (reduced capacity) based on consultation with public health

Step 2: Mid-June (June 15 – earliest date)

  • 65% of adult population with Dose 1
  • Cases declining, COVID-19 hospitalizations declining
    • Maximum of 50 people for outdoor social gatherings
    • Maximum of 50 people for seated indoor organized gatherings (banquet halls, movie theatres, live theatre) with safety protocols
    • Consultation process to prepare for larger indoor and outdoor gatherings with safety protocols
    • No B.C. travel restrictions – check local travel advisories
    • Indoor sports (games) and high-intensity fitness with safety protocols
    • Spectators for outdoor sports (50 maximum)
    • Provincewide mask mandate, business safety protocols and physical distancing measures remain in place

Step 3: Early July (July 1 – earliest date)

  • 70% of adult population with Dose 1
  • Cases low, COVID-19 hospitalizations declining 
    • Provincial state of emergency and public health emergency lifted
    • Returning to usual for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings
    • Increased capacity for indoor and outdoor organized gatherings, with safety plans
    • Nightclubs and casinos reopen with capacity limits and safety plans
    • New public health and workplace guidance around personal protective equipment, physical distancing and business protocols

Step 4: Early September (Sept. 7 – earliest date)

  • More than 70% of adult population with Dose 1
  • Cases low and stable (contained clusters), COVID-19 hospitalizations low
    • Returning to normal social contact
    • Increased capacity at larger organized gatherings
    • No limits on indoor and outdoor spectators at sports
    • Businesses operating with new safety plans
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