With British Columbians achieving nearly 80% adult Dose 1 vaccine coverage and COVID-19 case counts continuing to decline, the Province is safely moving to Step 3 of its four-step restart plan on July 1, 2021.
“British Columbians have stepped up at every stage throughout this pandemic,” said Premier John Horgan. “We’ve helped our neighbours stay safe, we’ve sacrificed time with friends and family and we have diligently registered to get vaccinated. We’ve now reached a point in our vaccination efforts when we can begin to remove restrictions. Let’s continue to respect everyone’s comfort level as we safely take another step toward putting this pandemic behind us.”
Moving to Step 3 will signal the end to the longest provincial state of emergency in B.C.’s history. The emergency will be lifted on June 30 at 11:59 p.m.
B.C.’s public health emergency will remain in effect during Step 3 to support amended public health orders from the provincial health officer (PHO), with reduced requirements.
During Step 3, businesses will gradually transition to new communicable disease plans, with guidelines for these plans released by WorkSafeBC on June 28. These guidelines were developed in consultation with public health and businesses will continue to be supported by WorkSafeBC and the PHO as they transition.
These plans will continue to include physical barriers at many business and retail settings. Capacity limits, formal health screening tests and directional arrows, as well as other physical distancing measures will no longer be required. However, they may still be used during this transition period.
“Step 3 is a major milestone for British Columbians,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “We can now resume more of the activities and occasions we enjoy, workplaces and businesses will have more flexibility, and it opens the door for more economic activity as we transition into summer. We are able to take this step because of the work everyone is doing to keep themselves and each other safe.”
Canadians travelling to B.C. from outside of the province are asked to plan ahead and be respectful while visiting communities, especially smaller and rural towns, as well as Indigenous communities – including respecting local travel advisories. For travel manners and guidelines to follow during summer trips and vacations – see travel manners under the Learn More section.
The four-step restart plan was designed based on data and guidance from the public health team led by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer. Progressing to each step of the plan will be measured by the number of people vaccinated, COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations and deaths and other key public health metrics. (BC gov’t website)