As other provinces in Canada have lately been announcing their plans to reopen, the Pacific province is next in line. So, when will B.C.'s COVID-19 restrictions be lifted? B.C.'s health officials just announced the province's "Restart Plan" and outlined a four-stage plan that starts immediately.
Speaking to the media in the early afternoon on Wednesday, May 6, Deputy Minister of Health Stephen Brown laid out what the "new normal" will look like in the province for the months ahead.
While the pandemic will only be officially "over" when everyone's either immune or immunized, B.C. is starting to reopen and has seen good progress lately. One day earlier, on Tuesday, May 5, the province reported just eight new cases.
B.C. is opening now, and it's just a matter of days before businesses put their plans to reopen in place. "B.C. is currently in Phase 1 of the restart plan," reads a release from the province. Phase two begins soon, too.
You can already start to see your friends and family again but only in small groups. You should be meeting up with just two to six people and maintaining a safe physical distance.
For all of these places that used to be a part of our everyday lives, there are going to be lots of restrictions and rules in place. Here's what the coming months will look like in B.C. and what your "new normal" will be:
From mid-May onwards, a lot is going to open in the province, but under new "enhanced protocols."
The retail sector, restaurants, personal service establishments (that includes haircuts), health services like dentistry and massage therapy and parks are among operations slated to reopen this month.
Sometime between June and September, the province is planning to reopen even more things, provided the transmission rate is still low or continues to decline.
Expect to be able to head back to the movie theatre, check into a hotel or resort, and go back to school.
Both post-secondary and K-12 education will be back in September but they could have a mix of online and in-class instruction.
Other places around the country and the world issued lockdowns or even shelter-in-place orders. B.C., on the flipside, stayed relatively open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many non-essential businesses like coffee shops stayed open while following Dr. Bonnie Henry's orders, leaving our economy in better shape while still flattening the curve.