British Columbia allows larger gatherings at start of second stage


By Camille Aubin
[email protected]

The province entered the second phase of its restart plan on Tuesday, June 15, allowing British Columbians to travel outside of their health zones and visit more people.

Authorities announced Monday, June 14 that the second stage of the restart plan could proceed as planned, as the number of cases and hospitalizations have steadily declined in recent weeks as vaccinations progress. More than 75 percent of adults received their first dose, exceeding the minimum threshold of 65 percent of the second stage.

“Through our collective efforts and our commitment to get vaccinated, we are poised to take another step forward in our cautious restart,” said BC Premier John Horgan. “This next step means seeing more of the people we love, visiting more of our favorite places, and safely celebrating the big steps we missed. Better days are in sight, but we must continue to do our part, get vaccinated, keep our layers of protection strong, and work together to put this pandemic behind us. “

The second step involves the following: the ban on non-essential travel within the province has been lifted; out-of-province non-essential travel warning continues; there is a maximum of 50 people for personal outdoor gatherings; a maximum of 50 people for organized gatherings seated indoors (eg cinemas, theaters, banquet halls) as long as security plans are in place; indoor religious gatherings can be held with a maximum of 50 people, or 10 percent of the total capacity of a place of worship, whichever is greater (with security plans in place); there is a maximum of 50 spectators for outdoor sports; the service of alcohol in restaurants, bars and pubs is extended until midnight; and indoor sports games (no spectators) and high intensity fitness with safety plans are acceptable.

The use of masks and physical distancing in indoor public places remain mandatory.

Unless otherwise specified in the list, all other capacity limits and guidelines from step one remain in effect.

“I have no doubts that we are on the right track to move safely and confidently to step two and am amending the prescriptions of the relevant provincial health worker, so that we can do this,” said Dr Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia. “The data shows us that with strong security plans in place and we all continue to use our layers of protection, we can now further increase our much-needed social connections. Whether it’s traveling to visit family in British Columbia, having a little wedding, or watching your kid’s soccer game, these are the things we’ve all missed.

The province advises British Columbians traveling to the province to plan ahead and be respectful when visiting remote or smaller towns, as well as follow local travel advisories. Summer vacations and travel plans should include the following: getting vaccinated; pre-trip planning and research before arriving at destination; adhere to local travel advisories in place in isolated and remote communities and Indigenous communities; follow the mask directive; respect personal space and practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing; and no travel for anyone sick. If symptoms appear while traveling, isolate yourself immediately and call 811 for advice and testing.

A start date for the third stage is set for July 1, if at least 70% of the population aged 18 and over is vaccinated with Dose 1 (which British Columbia has already passed), as well as a low number cases and a decrease in hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

“Our step-by-step reopening plan is giving British Columbians what they expected. The best way to show our love for British Columbia is to go out and eat, stay, shop and play. Whether it’s watching your kids play sports outdoors, going to the theater, or traveling to exciting new destinations across the province, we can finally get out there and support people, jobs and our economy. Said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. and Sporty.

For more information visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restart

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