Sunday June 13, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
On Monday June 14 the Premier will lead a high-profile group of presenters to launch Step 2 of the BC Restart Plan. Step 2 of BC’s Restart is scheduled to launch on Tuesday June 15.
The steps are based on the percentage of the adult population (age 18+) that has received their first dose of COVID, declining COVID-19 case counts, declining COVID-19 hospitalizations (including critical care), and declining deaths due to COVID-19. The proposed Step launch dates are:
- Step 1: Starting May 25
- Step 2: Earliest start date June 15
- Step 3: Earliest start date July 1
- Step 4: Earliest start date Sept 7
Continuing immunization is key to the overall restart, which relies on continued supply (which BC seems confident of now, through the federal procurement process).
This is the second restart:
Yes, there was an economic restart last year after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in BC. This is a restart after the third wave.
Generally speaking, the reliance on effective vaccines allows for a firmer footing of economic movement forward following the widest-scope pandemic in 100 years.
The pandemic was officially declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2021 and in BC the declaration was made on March 17, 2021.
Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry said from the start that we would have “our pandemic” in BC. She intended to manage things differently, and she did. BC has fare well by that effort.
The first wave in BC was generally from March to mid-May 2020, the second wave picked up steam in October 2020 after Thanksgiving Weekend and lasting into the new year, and the third wave held back British Columbians in February through April 2021. A public health circuit-breaker was held in place to May 25, 2021 just in case.
Seniors got the highest level of protection (as in getting vaccines first in a program of immunization in descending order by age). Youth have arguably had the greatest social impacts (schooling, graduation, young adult social life, job launches and career mobility).
Who’s making the Step 2 announcement:
Tomorrow’s lineup is Premier John Horgan, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation Ravi Kahlon, Health Minister Adrian Dix, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Melanie Mark, and Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry.
That will be carried live at 10:30 am on the usual BC Government social media streams on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (see Island Social Trends events page for links).
- Physical distancing and masks continue to be required in public indoor settings
- If you or anyone in your family feels sick stay home and get tested immediately.
- Personal gatherings outdoors can have up to 50 people. Organized gatherings can have up to 50 people indoors with a Safety Plan.
- Provincial travel restrictions will be lifted, with recreational travel allowed within BC. BC Transit and BC Ferries will offer increased service as needed.
- Businesses that serve liquor can do that up to midnight. Banquet halls can operate with limited capacity and a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
- Offices and workplaces may continue with a safe return. Small in-person meetings are allowed.
- Sports and exercise: indoor high-intensity group exercise will be allowed with reduced capacity. Indoor games and practices for adults and youth group/team sports are allowed. No spectators at any indoor sport activities; outdoor spectators up to 50 allowed.
- Step 3 starting July 1 will still include the use of masks in public indoor setting and careful social contact. Otherwise, personal gatherings (indoor and outdoor) can return to usual. Organized gatherings (indoor and outdoor) can have increased numbers.
- Travel can be Canada-wide.
- There will be no indoor or outdoor limits on dining, and liquor service restrictions will be lifted.
- Casinos and nightclubs can operate with a limited capacity. New safety plans required.
- Offices and workplaces can hold seminars and bigger meetings, with safety plans.
- All indoor fitness classes will be allowed at usual capacities. Limited indoor spectator numbers allowed.