A list of the four steps in B.C.'s restart plan

A list of the four steps in B.C.'s restart plan”

British Columbia's plans to restart the province with the methodical lifting of strict COVID-19 health restrictions are set to be announced today.

All workplace safety plans will be updated by July 1st, based on updated sector guidelines.

But on Tuesday (May 25), provincial officials revealed B.C.'s restart plan, which outlines the new guidance on personal and organized gatherings.

"This is a disease which has taken over 1,600 lives and disrupted all of us for 15 months". Twelve more people died over the three-day reporting period, bringing the number of fatalities since the start of the pandemic to 1,679.

As long as everything goes according to plan - meaning cases of COVID-19 continue to trend down - health officials envision that British Columbians will have mostly "normal social contact" by the first week of September.

- Provincewide mask mandate, business safety protocols and physical distancing measures remain in place.

Personal gatherings of up to 10 people outdoors and five people indoors, and seated organized indoor gatherings of up to 10 indoors or 50 outdoors are permitted in step.

While the travel restriction barring B.C. residents from moving between the government's three designated travel zones for non-essential reasons remains in place, officials said residents are free to travel recreationally within their own zone.

More news: Belarus forces Ryanair flight FR4978 to land in Minsk

Outdoor gatherings can increase to 50 outdoors, but indoor gatherings stay at a maximum of five.

Travel will be opened up nationwide.

Henry said the province will continue to monitor case counts and the condition of the virus.

"I don't see a situation where we are going backwards unless things change drastically", she said.

"We'll be staying flexible because we know this virus still has some tricks up its sleeve", she said.

And if the province can meet certain vaccination thresholds while keeping COVID-19 case numbers low, the government is hopeful that many more restrictions can be eased throughout the summer. Infection rates peaked in early April, while hospital admissions increased and intensive care units filled with patients.

The restrictions were supposed to last until April 19 but were extended as more restrictions on travel were introduced.

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