BC health officials announced today that the Province is officially entering Step 2 of its COVID restart plan beginning June 15th.
The announcement was made on Monday morning at a joint press conference with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
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Premier John Horgan, Minister of Jobs Ravi Kahlon, and Minister of Tourism Melanie Mark also attending the conference and spoke to various elements of the restart plan.
“We are on track to meeting all of our restart milestones,” said Premier Horgan.
Dr. Henry made it official, saying, “I am confident that we are on track to safely and confidently bridge to Step 2, and am amending the relevant provincial health officer’s orders so we can do just that.”
Step 2 now allows British Columbians to gather outdoors in groups of 50 people.
Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people are also allowed, but only with a COVID-19 safety plan in place. This includes movie theatres. Banquet halls can also begin to operate in a limited capacity with a COVID-19 safety plan in place.
For the service industry, liquor can now be served until midnight.
In what officials refer to as a “continued return to the workplace,” offices and workplaces can now allow small meetings.
For fitness organizations, high-intensity indoor group exercises are allowed with reduced capacity. Indoor sports and team practices are also open for youth and adults.
Spectators for outdoor sporting events are allowed, but with a max of 50 people.
“So you can go watch your child’s soccer game, or baseball game, as we know many many families were looking forward to doing,” Dr. Henry noted.
Dr. Henry also noted that all regular COVID protocols are still in place, including physical distancing and mask-wearing indoors.
“We’ve gone step by step. We’ve followed the evidence. This needs to continue to be our path,” added Minister Dix.
The earliest we might see the next phase of the restart plan is “hopefully on July 1st,” according to Dr. Henry.
“I am absolutely optimistic about our brighter days ahead. This will be our summer of hope and healing of this pandemic,” Dr. Henry said in closing.
More to come…