British Columbia relaxes some rules and restrictions –

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BC Premier, health officials unveil plan to restart province – fr


VANCOUVER – The British Columbia government has relaxed many of the strict COVID-19 rules residents have been living on for weeks – and has set a rough timeline for returning to “more normal life” in the months to come.

As part of the provincial restart plan unveiled on Tuesday, British Columbians are invited to meet a few friends at a restaurant and dine inside, welcome a small number of visitors inside their homes, and travel to for recreational purposes in their own designated travel area.

These and other relaxed rules take effect immediately, officials said.

And if the province can meet certain vaccination thresholds while keeping the number of COVID-19 cases low, the government is hoping many more restrictions can be relaxed throughout the summer.

This could mean the resumption of normal social contacts, more live sports, a reopening of nightclubs and casinos, and recreational trips across British Columbia and Canada at various times from June to September.

But Prime Minister John Horgan stressed that the government will only take these incremental steps if it is supported by public health data.

“We have made extraordinary sacrifices as a province and as a people over the past 15 months,” Horgan said at a press conference. “We don’t want to take a step forward just to have to back down. “

The government’s restart plan is split into four stages, but only the first – which is currently underway – has a firm date. The remaining three are estimated to begin on June 15, July 1 and September 7 at the earliest, depending on the state of the pandemic in British Columbia.

“We will remain flexible because we know this virus still has a few things up its sleeve,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “We will continue to monitor what is happening around the world because we know we are not all safe until everyone has been vaccinated, and this is still a challenge in many parts of the world. “

The public can do their part to keep British Columbia on track by continuing to follow mask guidelines, staying home during their illness and getting vaccinated as soon as possible, Henry added.

WHAT IS ALLOWED IN STEP 1

For now, residents of British Columbia can once again dine indoors at bars and restaurants in groups of no more than six, and those groups don’t need to be from the same household. Establishments should continue to follow their existing WorkSafeBC safety plans and stop serving alcohol by 10 p.m.

British Columbians can also host small dinners and similar meetings indoors at home, but only with a maximum of five visitors or a household. The current group limit of 10 people for socializing outdoors remains in place.

Officials also now allow outdoor gatherings – such as weddings – for up to 50 people, provided they are seated and a security plan is in place.

Although the travel restriction prohibiting residents of British Columbia from moving between the three government-designated travel zones for non-essential reasons has been extended, officials said residents are free to travel for non-essential purposes. recreational activities in their own area.

Outdoor team sports are permitted for all ages, but not with spectators. And low-intensity indoor fitness classes, such as Pilates, can again work indoors with limited capacity.

ROCK CONCERTS, NEW MASK GUIDE TO COME

The easing of restrictions will certainly be good news for many British Columbians, and there is still much to be hoped for in the months to come.

As of mid-June, the government plans to reopen cinemas, allow recreational travel across the province, resume indoor team sports and high-intensity fitness classes, and extend drinking hours in bars and restaurants. restaurants until midnight.

As July approaches, BC’s restart plan tentatively includes a “return to the habit of personal gatherings indoors or out” – allowing for things like family reunions – and increased capacity for organized gatherings that would enable fairs and festivals. Bingo halls, nightclubs and casinos may reopen with limited capacity. The government has also suggested that its mask mandate could be lifted in favor of a mask recommendation.

The final stage, which is expected to begin in early September, includes a return to large gatherings such as rock concerts, Halloween parties and spectator sports, as well as the resumption of pre-pandemic social contacts, according to the province’s plans. At this point, officials also describe the use of the mask as a “personal choice.”

This is a story in development and will be updated

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