After a long wait, the province is finally starting down the path to reopening again. There's still a ton of confusion around what that means, however, and many are wondering: what's opening in B.C.? Just because businesses are allowed to open doesn't mean they'll be starting today, and there's still a long road ahead for many.
After anouncing the province's plans back on Wednesday, May 6, B.C. is finally moving into "phase two" on Tuesday, May 19.
According to their plans, the following businesses will be able to open, with new guidelines to staying safe:
- Restaurants, cafes, and pubs.
- Personal services like hair salons and barbers.
- Museums, libraries, and art galleries.
- In person counseling.
- Child care.
- Medical services like dentists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and more.
WorkSafe BC published guidelines for all these businesses on Friday, May 15. In order to operate, they'll need to make a COVID-19 safety plan following with the guidelines and approved by the province.
In restaurants, for example, this includes new rules like having two metres between each table and only allowing parties up to six.
Customers will have to seat themselves with table numbers under six, a chair will be removed from each table so the server can enter without squeezing between patrons, and more.
In order to make these changes, many restaurants won't be able to open in time for Tuesday, May 19.
However, several stores and barbershops have already opened in the province, and they're already reporting long lines of desperately-shaggy customers, according to reports by local media.
Interestingly, many businesses were never asked to completely close in B.C. But now, if they want to keep operating, they'll need to follow the new guidelines.
Retailers and shops like Aritzia that are reopening in the province, for example, will have to cut down how many people are allowed inside, rearranging areas so people have enough space to distance, avoid handing out goods like samples and coupons, and more.
We're stepping into the new normal now and life is bound to look different than before. But with the pandemic closing so many iconic stores for good, at least now they could hopefully be able to better support themselves.