B.C. just recently released the roadmap for the reopening plan. Over the next few months we are going to continually see some easing of those COVID-19 restrictions around the province. We just recently got indoor dining back and less restrictions on social gatherings, and there is more to come.
In the first step of the plan which is going on now until June 15th, those in B.C. can have outdoor gatherings up to 10 people, have indoor visitors up to 5 people or with 1 other household. Recreational travel is only permitted in your own zone.
There are still B.C. travel restrictions which prevent you from going outside of that zone for non-essential travel.
Religious gatherings can go ahead once again, being held with up to 50 people seated either indoors or outdoors in B.C. There are still other social distancing requirements in place for businesses that are open today around the province, such as capacity limits and more.
Restaurants are taking reservations again because they can open for indoor dining and we are slowly starting to make our way back.
In June we will see even more reduction on those restrictions. This means outdoor gatherings up to 50 people and BC recreational travel, liquor will be served later, and other businesses like movie theaters might start to open too.
By July 1st we are expecting to see a return to usual for indoor and outdoor gatherings.
For travel it is expected that Canada-wide recreational travel will be permitted, no more travel restrictions. However, it isn’t clear if the border will be open by then.
Cruise ships aren’t expected to start coming back through Canadian ports until next year.
New Normal in B.C. By September
By the beginning of September this year we will see normal social contact. This means we could be only a few months away from no more social distancing, no more masks, no more pandemic restrictions. It’s almost too good to be true at this point, with how much we have endured over the last year.
Up until at least June 15th we will see that masks are still going to be required for public indoor settings and physical distancing measures will still be in place.
What will it take for B.C. to move to Step 2 of reopening plan?
The province won’t move forward with step 2 until at least 65% of the population 18+ have gotten their vaccine, at least 1 dose. Right now the province is at more than 53% who have received the first dose.
The Canada vax rate overall today is more than 50% and growing steadily. There will also need to be a continued decline in cases as well and COVID-19 hospitalizations.
If all goes well and according to their plans then by July 1 we will see masks become recommended only for public indoor settings. By Sept those masks will become a personal choice and we can expect to see normal social contact. They won’t be moving forward to step 3 or 4 though until we see more than 70% of the population receiving at least 1 dose.