Here’s a full look at BC’s phased plan to get back to normal life after COVID-19

(Prime Minister John Horgan, Minister Adrian Dix, Dr. Bonnie Henry / BC Gov Flickr)

Things are going well as British Columbia begins to return to normal, starting today.

At a joint press conference on Tuesday, Premier John Horgan and BC health officials announced a four-step plan to reopen and ease restrictions, effective today , Tuesday May 25.

Today’s announcement saw the end of COVID-19’s “circuit breaker measures” and the start of a 4-step reopening plan.

The province has detailed restrictions on business, sports and activities, travel and organized gatherings.

By September, British Columbia expects to come back to life before the pandemic – health officials say COVID-19 disease will be a health problem, not a state of emergency.

Starting today, May 25, low-intensity fitness classes, like yoga, may open for limited capacity; outside teams can organize matches and training sessions without spectators; Outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people (ie small wedding ceremonies) will be permitted, including in-person worship services; indoor gatherings of up to 5 people, or a household; and offices can begin to gradually return to in-person workplaces.

By June 15, British Columbia will see restrictions change again, with high intensity fitness classes being able to open with reduced capacity.

However, leisure travel will still be limited to your health region until June 15.

By July 1, indoor and outdoor dining will have no group limits, alcohol service restrictions will be lifted, and nightclubs will reopen with limited capacity. Recreational travel across Canada will be permitted.

By September, large organized gatherings such as concerts will be allowed.

See the full breakdown here:

Stage 1: from May 25

  • Maximum of five visitors or one household allowed for personal gatherings indoors
  • Maximum of 10 people for personal outdoor gatherings
  • Maximum of 10 people for organized gatherings inside seated with safety protocols
    Maximum of 50 people for organized outdoor seated gatherings with safety protocols
  • Leisure travel only in the travel region (extended travel restrictions)
    Indoor and outdoor dining for up to six people with safety protocols
    Resume outdoor sports (games) without spectators, low intensity fitness with safety protocols
  • Start a gradual return to work
  • Province-wide mask mandate, trade security protocols and physical distancing measures remain in place
  • Return of in-person religious gatherings indoors (reduced capacity) based on consultation with public health.

Step 2: (first date – June 15)

  • Maximum of 50 people for outdoor social gatherings
  • Maximum of 50 people for gatherings organized in a seated room (banquet halls, cinemas, live theater) with security protocols
  • No travel restrictions in British Columbia ʹCheck local travel advisories
  • Indoor sports (games) and high intensity fitness with safety protocols
    Spectators for outdoor sports (50 maximum)
  • The province-wide mask mandate, trade security protocols and physical distancing measures remain in place.

Step 3: (first date – July 1)

  • Provincial state of emergency and public health emergency lifted
  • Get back to the habit for personal gatherings indoors and outdoors
  • Increasing the capacity of organized gatherings inside and outside, with security plans
    Nightclubs and casinos reopened with capacity limits and safety plans
  • New public health and workplace guidelines regarding personal protective equipment, physical distance and business protocols.

Step 4: (first date – September 7)

  • Return to normal social contact
  • Increased capacity at large organized gatherings
  • No limit on indoor and outdoor sports spectators
  • Companies operating with new security plans.

Although the steps have been announced, it is important to remain patient and follow the guidelines and restrictions in place. Follow the mask’s advice, stay home and get tested when you are sick, and consider others in your decisions.

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