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Dr. Henry says come together - gradually

BC’s RESTART: A Plan to Bring Us Back Together announced today.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says Canada Day 2021 may bring the normalcy back to British Columbia.  BC’s medical health officer was on hand today to announce BC’s RESTART: A Plan to Bring Us Back Together.

The plan is a four-step guide to bring B.C. back together will be a slow and gradual return to a more normal life.

“This is based on data, not dates,” said BC Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry this morning.

Health protocols such as mask wearing and physical distancing remaining in place and mandatory during the initial two steps of the plan. The pair said the four-step plan was designed based on data and guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

Progressing through the steps will be measured by the number of adults vaccinated, COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations and deaths, taking into account clusters and outbreaks.

Henry added while the plan will not proceed to the next step until it is safe to do so based on guidance from public health and the latest available data.

“We have been on a long and tiring journey, and now we can start to chart our path forward to brighter days ahead, ” Henry said.

Henry said the return to normal could start happening as early as Canada Day this year.

"This is when and where I hope we can get ride of public health mandates like masking,” she added.

“While we are working on data, not dates, the dates are a good indication of where we are going,” said Henry.

“We still need to prevent transmission in our communities, as well as our own personal safety,” she said adding public masking mandates would continue for now.

“It is very important to remember every person’s situation is different. People will be ready at different times to open up.”

 

A look at the plan:

Step 1: May 25 -

Based on 60% of adult population with Dose 1; COVID-19 cases stable, hospitalizations stable

  • Maximum of five visitors or one household allowed for indoor personal gatherings
  • Maximum of 10 people for outdoor personal gatherings
  • Maximum of 10 people for seated indoor organized gatherings with safety protocols
  • Maximum of 50 people for seated outdoor organized gatherings with safety protocols
  • Recreational travel only within travel region (travel restrictions extended)
  • Indoor and outdoor dining for up to six people with safety protocols
  • Resume outdoor sports (games) with no spectators, low-intensity fitness with safety protocols
  • Start gradual return to workplace
  • Provincewide mask mandate, business safety protocols and physical distancing measures remain in place
  • Return of indoor in-person faith-based gatherings (reduced capacity) based on consultation with public health

Step 2: Mid-June (June 15 earliest date) 

Based on 65% of adult population with Dose 1; COVID-19 cases declining, hospitalizations declining

  • Maximum of 50 people for outdoor social gatherings
  • Maximum of 50 people for seated indoor organized gatherings (banquet halls, movie theatres, live theatre) with safety protocols
  • Consultation process to prepare for larger indoor and outdoor gatherings with safety protocols
  • No B.C. travel restrictions check local travel advisories
  • Indoor sports (games) and high-intensity fitness with safety protocols
  • Spectators for outdoor sports (50 maximum)
  • Provincewide mask mandate, business safety protocols and physical distancing measures remain in place

Step 3: Early July (July 1 earliest date) B.C.'s 2021 restart plan for sports and activities.

Based on 70% of adult population with Dose 1; COVID-19 cases low, hospitalizations declining

  • Provincial state of emergency and public health emergency lifted
  • Returning to usual for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings
  • Increased capacity for indoor and outdoor organized gatherings, with safety plans
  • Nightclubs and casinos reopened with capacity limits and safety plans
  • New public health and workplace guidance around personal protective equipment, physical distancing and business protocols

Step 4: Early September (Sept. 7 earliest date)

Based on more than 70% of adult population with Dose 1; COVID-19 cases low and stable (contained clusters), hospitalizations low

  • Returning to normal social contact
  • Increased capacity at larger organized gatherings
  • No limits on indoor and outdoor spectators at sports
  • Businesses operating with new safety plans

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