Premier John Horgan on Wednesday (May 6) outlined how B.C. is going to restart from COVID-19.
The restart will be done in four phases, and it begins in the middle of the month of May.
“Our plan puts safety first. British Columbians have made enormous sacrifices so far, and it’s thanks to them that we’re able to begin to lift some restrictions,” Horgan said.
“We’ll allow activities to resume as the evidence and experts tell us it is appropriate to do so. By moving carefully and deliberately, we will help British Columbians get to a ‘new normal,’ where more of our social and economic life can resume.”
According to B.C.’s Restart Plan, the series of steps are designed to protect people and ensure that the province can come back from COVID-19 stronger than before.
Phase 1 (Where B.C. is at right now)
Essential Services Operating During COVID-19:
Essential health and health services
Law enforcement, public safety, first responders and emergency response personnel
Vulnerable population service providers
Food and agriculture service providers
Industry and manufacturing
Communications and information technology
Other non-health essential service providers
Industries that were designated as essential services developed safe operation plans in consultation with WorkSafeBC and in compliance with the public health orders issued by the Provincial Health Officer.
Phase 2 (Mid-May onwards)
Under enhanced protocols:
Restoration of health services
Re-scheduling elective surgery
Medically related services:
Dentistry, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, and chiropractors
Physical therapy, speech therapy, and similar services
Hair salons, barbers, and other personal service establishments
Restaurants, cafes, and pubs (with sufficient distancing measures)
Museums, art galleries, and libraries
Recreation and sports
Parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces
Phase 3 (June to September)
If transmission rates remain low or in decline, under enhanced protocols:
Hotels and Resorts (June 2020)
Parks – broader reopening, including some overnight camping (June 2020)
Film industry – beginning with domestic productions (June/July 2020)
Select entertainment – movies and symphony, but not large concerts (July 2020)
Post-secondary education – with mix of online and in-class (September 2020)
K-12 education – with only a partial return this school year (September 2020)
Phase 4 (To be determined)
Conditional on at least one of the following: wide vaccination, “community” immunity, broad successful treatments
Activities requiring large gatherings, such as:
Live audience professional sports
The timing of a safe restart of night clubs, casinos and bars is a more complicated consideration. As with other sectors, industry associations will be expected to develop safe operations plans, for review, that are in keeping with Public Health and Safety Guidelines, as well as WorkSafeBC.