BC eyes return to normal in September with four-step plan

Flickr By CKPG Today COVID-19 B.C. launches into first step of COVID-19 restart plan

Indoor dining at restaurants, which was banned for a couple of weeks, is now allowed with six people per table including people outside their households.

Criteria for opening requires stable case numbers, stable hospitalizations, and a minimum of 60 per cent of people with at least one vaccine dose.

As of June 15, outdoor gatherings will be permitted for up to 50 people while indoor socializing will remain capped at five people.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says more specifics will come out later this week about what the size limits will be on religious gatherings.

While the travel restriction barring B.C. residents from moving between the government's three designated travel zones for non-essential reasons remains in place, officials said residents are free to travel recreationally within their own zone.

- A maximum of 50 people would be allowed to hold outdoor social gatherings, with 50 seated indoors at organized gatherings in banquet halls, movie theatres and live theatres as long as safety protocols are being followed.

Public health would also increase capacity at larger events and help businesses operate under new, updated safety plans with fewer restrictions.

Outdoor recreational sports are now back on for adults and kids as well as low-intensity indoor fitness classes.

Pfizer vaccine 88% effective against B.1.617.2, AstraZeneca 60% effective
While U.S. cases attributed to the B.1.617 variant now sit below 1%, the growth rate remains unclear due to the small sample size. The Indian variant certainly gives the virus a bit more of an advantage, but it doesn't mean the vaccines won't win out.

- Spectators for outdoor sports would be permitted with a 50-person maximum.

There would also be a "return to normal" for indoor and outdoor gatherings.

- Nightclubs and casinos reopened with capacity limits and safety plans.

- Provincewide mask mandate, business safety protocols and physical distancing remain in place.

Approximate dates have also been provided for when the province will move to the next steps, although health officials stress that the plan "will be guided by data, not dates".

If all goes according to plan, fans will be allowed to return to sporting events and concerts by September 7.

Health officials will aim to slowly increase capacity for all indoor fitness classes starting in early July.

All workplace safety plans will be updated by July 1st, based on updated sector guidelines.

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