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B.C. lays out restart plan for gatherings, travel; Final phase set for Sept.

  • Buzz
  •   05-26-2021  11:54 am
  •   Pax Global Media

B.C. lays out restart plan for gatherings, travel; Final phase set for Sept.
Vancouver, B.C. (Lee Robinson)
Pax Global Media

British Columbia has unveiled a four-step restart plan for easing coronavirus restrictions and putting restaurant dining, social gatherings and travel back on track.

Provincial travel restrictions are expected to be eased by mid-June and relaxed rules around social gatherings may arrive as soon as early July.

The criteria for Step 1, which came into effect on Tuesday (May 25) is that at least 60 per cent of the 18+ population is vaccinated with dose one.

This will allow for personal and organization gatherings (such as outdoor events with up to 50 people) while still restricting travel: recreational travel within one’s travel region will be allowed while non-essential travel between travel regions will continued to be banned.

Step 2 (the earliest start date for this being June 15) requires at least 65 per cent of the 18+ population to be vaccinated with dose one.

This is the stage where travel restrictions will be eased further.

Provincial travel restrictions will be lifted, recreational travel within B.C. will be allowed, and B.C. transit and B.C. ferries will offers increased service as needed.

Step 3 can kick in as early as July 1 and at least 70% of the 18+ population much be vaccinated with dose one.

At this point, Canada-wide recreational travel will receive the green light and the province, by then, anticipates lifting the state of emergency and public health emergency.

The criteria for moving to Step 4 (Sept. 7) is more than 70% of the 18+ population being vaccinated with dose one. The same allowances for Canada-wide recreational travel apply to this step as well.

All steps are dependant on stable case counts and COVID-19 hospitalizations.

To view the plan in its entirety, click here.

“We have made tremendous strides with our vaccination program, and we are now in a position where we can move forward with a plan to slowly bring us back together. As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will be closely following the guidance of public health and supporting people and businesses as we take the next steps in putting this pandemic behind us,” B.C. Premier John Horgan said in a statement.

As for easing international borders, the Government of Canada hasn’t yet provided a specific timeline or roadmap for reopening global travel and aviation. 

Last week, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said he is meeting with G7 countries and EU officials to integrate vaccine certificates into international travel in the coming months.

Canada’s border measures, including the mandatory hotel quarantine order for international air arrivals and reopening of the Canada-U.S. border, will hinge on "data and evidence," including advice from public health, Minister Alghabra told reporters.

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