The second phase of reopening officially begins tomorrow in British Columbia, with select businesses allowed to open under “enhanced protocols”.
The focus from now until the beginning of June will be on the restoration of health services, re-scheduling elective surgery, medically related services, dentistry, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, chiropractors, physical therapy, speech therapy, and similar fields.
Phase two will focus on the re-opening of the following businesses:
- Hair salons/barbers/other personal service establishments
- In-person counselling
- Restaurants, cafes, pubs – with sufficient distancing measures
- Museums, art galleries, libraries
- Office-based worksites
- Parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces
- Transit services
Businesses are required to implement modifications and controls in order to reduce the risk of transmission and protect the health of staff and patrons.
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According to the province’s Restart Plan, some of the things that can be used to mitigate risk include physical distancing measures to reduce the density of people, engineering controls such as physical barriers (like plexiglass at checkouts) or increased ventilation, administrative controls in the form of clear rules and guidelines, and personal protective equipment like the use of non-medical masks.
Phase two will also mean the public can extend social contact to extended family and a small group of friends, with limited groups between two to six people.
Social contact includes activities such as meals, barbeques, and small functions. It’s also being emphasized that meeting outside, when possible, is better as to allow for optimal social distancing.
In addition, the province is asking British Columbians to stay close to home and avoid any travel between communities that is not essential in this phase, and continue to meticulously follow public health guidelines.
The total number of recorded cases in the province now sits at 2,428 as of Saturday, May 16, and the total number of deaths sits at 141.
With files from Eric Zimmer and Vincent Plana