Premier outlines B.C.’s restart plan

Premier John Horgan has announced a plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions in phases, gradually allowing for more social and economic activity. The four-phase plan will see British Columbians transitioning to the second phase in mid-May, allowing for the implementation of several changes, including the opening of more non-essential businesses in keeping with safe operational plans and the re-opening of provincial parks for day use.

WorkSafe BC is developing new guidance documents to help employers bring workers and customers back safely.

The enhanced protocols for Phase 2 will address the following activities, services and sectors:

  • Restoration of health services
  • Medically related services:
    • Dentistry, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, and chiropractors
    • Physical therapy, speech therapy, and similar services
  • Retail sector
  • Hair salons, barbers, and other personal service establishments
  • In-person counselling
  • Restaurants, cafes, and pubs (with sufficient distancing measures)
  • Museums, art galleries, and libraries
  • Office-based worksites
  • Recreation and sports
  • Parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces
  • Child care

The target date for the start of Phase 3, which will include opening up of additional businesses and services, is between June and September 2020, if transmission rates remain low or in decline.

Phase 4, which would include the resumption of mass gathering like conventions or concerts, will only be achieved when the threat of COVID-19 has been significantly diminished through widespread vaccination, broad successful treatments, evidence of community immunity, or the equivalent.

For current details and updates on B.C.’s Restart Plan, please visit the province’s dedicated website.

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