With British Columbians achieving nearly 80% adult Dose 1 vaccine coverage and COVID-19 case counts continuing to decline, the Province is safely moved to Step 3 of its four-step restart plan on July 1, 2021.
Premier John Horgan confirmed the start of step 3 of its Restart Plan. Horgan told a news conference the province is able to move forward with confidence, due to the success of the vaccine program, and the low number of new Covid cases. Horgan said British Columbians have stepped up at every stage throughout this pandemic.
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. Mask wearing is recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated.
Moving to Step 3 has signaled the end of the longest provincial state of emergency in BC’s history. B.C.’s public health emergency will remain in effect during Step 3 to support amended public health orders from the provincial health officer.
Moving from Step 2 to Step 3 includes:
– return to normal for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings.
– maximum capacity for indoor organized gatherings of 50 people or up to 50% of a venue’s total capacity, whichever is greater.
– maximum capacity for outdoor organized gatherings of 5,000 people or up to 50% of a venue’s total capacity, whichever is greater.
– return to normal for fairs, festivals and trade shows, with communicable disease plans.
– return to Canada-wide recreational travel.
– reopening of casinos, with reduced capacity and only 50% of gaming stations permitted to open.
– reopening of nightclubs, with up to 10 people seated at tables, no socializing between tables and no dancing.
– return to normal hours for liquor service at restaurants, bars and pubs with table limits to be determined by venue and no socializing between tables.
– return to normal for sports and exercise facilities, with communicable disease plans; and
– mask wearing recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated.
Physical barriers will not be required in Step 3, but Dr. Henry said they will continue to encourage barriers remain in place, particularly those that protect the workers.
The earliest target start date for Step 4 is September 7th. View the full Restart Plan here.