BC Just Revealed Its Official Reopening Plan & Here’s What You Need To Know
Step 1 has officially begun!
Moving through each of the steps will be dictated by the number of adults who are vaccinated, COVID-19 case counts in the province, and hospitalization and death numbers. There are approximate timelines for each of the steps, though they are subject to change based on the aforementioned metrics.
Below we've detailed when each step is expected to kick off and what public health restrictions will look like at that time.
Step 1: May 25
As of now, Step 1 is underway as a result of 60% of B.C. adults having received their first vaccine dose and COVID-19 case counts and hospitalization numbers remaining stable.
This means that British Columbians can now host gatherings of up to five visitors or one household inside their homes. For outdoor personal gatherings, up to 10 people are allowed. Seated indoor gatherings can be up to 10 people with safety protocols. Meanwhile, seated outdoor gatherings can have up to 50 people with safety protocols.
As for travel restrictions, they have been extended for the time being. This means that people in B.C. can only travel within their own health regions unless for essential reasons. Indoor and outdoor dining will resume for up to six people per table with safety protocols. Outdoor sports (with no spectators) and low-intensity fitness may also resume.
There will be a gradual return to the workplace and the provincewide mask mandate, business safety regulations and physical distancing will be sticking around. Finally, indoor faith-based gatherings can return with reduced capacity.
Step 2: June 15 At The Earliest
When 65% of the adult population in B.C. has received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are declining, the province can move into Step 2.
In Step 2 up to 50 people will be allowed to gather outdoors, up to 50 people can gather for seated indoor organized gatherings, and there will be a consultation beginning to prepare for large indoor and outdoor gatherings.
There will be no more travel restrictions within B.C. In addition, indoor sports and high-intensity fitness will be able to resume with safety protocols. Spectators will also be invited back for outdoor sports, with a 50 person maximum. The mask mandate, business safety protocols and physical distancing measures will still remain in place.
Step 3: July 1 At the Earliest
Step 3 can begin when 70% of adults have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, cases are low, and hospitalizations are still declining.
During this step, the provincial state of emergency will be lifted and locals can return to normal for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings. There will also be an increased capacity for organized gatherings, both indoor and outdoor.
Nightclubs and casinos will be allowed to open with capacity limits, and new public health and workplace guidance will be issued around mask-wearing, distancing, and business protocols.
Step 4: September 7 At the Earliest
Now, in the final step, over 70% of adults will have to have their first dose, cases must be low and stable and hospitalizations must be low.
Reaching Step 4 would mean returning to normal social contact, increasing capacity for large organized gatherings, no limits for sports spectators and new safety plans for businesses.
This step would basically be the loosening of all regulations. Naturally, there are a number of caveats to reach each step and these dates are the earliest possible dates to move into each step.