Pub patio in Victoria reopens with widely spaced tables, June 2020. Indoor dining in B.C. resumed May 25, 2021 after a second suspension due to COVID-19 infection risk. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Pub patio in Victoria reopens with widely spaced tables, June 2020. Indoor dining in B.C. resumed May 25, 2021 after a second suspension due to COVID-19 infection risk. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Indoor dining, up to 5 home visitors allowed in B.C. COVID-19 restart

Out-of region recreational travel ban, mask rules remain in place

B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan has begun with a return of indoor restaurant dining for up to six people, and indoor home gatherings for up to five people or one additional household.

Tuesday (May 25) begins the first of four stages of lifting public health restrictions, and further stages depend on coronavirus infection rates and hospitalizations remaining stable. Rules for indoor dining and fitness have returned to what they were before the “circuit breaker” restrictions took effect at the end of March, with dining and liquor service until 10 p.m. If coronavirus infection rates continue to fall and vaccination rates to rise, that would extend to midnight as early as June 15.

“The circuit breaker restrictions that we put in place six weeks ago have done what they were supposed to do,” said Premier John Horgan, adding that bookings are now accepted for recreational trips, as long as they are within the three regions of the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the B.C. Interior.

RELATED: 50 people expected for B.C. sports events this summer

RELATED: Here’s who you can see, and where, as B.C. reopens

Travel between those regions remains restricted to essential trips until mid-June, and after that people should check for local travel advisories before planning a trip.

The earliest point where mask and social distance rules could be relaxed is in phase three, in early July, based on B.C. reaching 70 per cent vaccination of eligible people. That would allow nightclubs and casinos to reopen with capacity restrictions, and a return to normal for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings. Early July could also see the end of the longest provincial emergency declaration in B.C. history, since March of 2020.

Phase two also allows for outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people and the same limits for seating-controlled theatres and banquet halls. Regional travel restrictions may also be removed as soon as June 15 if infection rates remain stable or continue to decline.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said step one is possible because B.C. has reached 60 per cent of first-dose vaccination for the adult population. The biggest surge of infections has subsided since it peaked in March, as the province-wide vaccination program has opened up to all adults.

“As we have seen all along in this pandemic, people in B.C. stepped up,” Henry said, both with following physical distance and mask requirements, and registering and receiving vaccine appointments.

The fourth step is scheduled for as early at Sept. 7, as schools and colleges return to in-class teaching. It would include increased capacity for larger gatherings such as weddings and religious services, and removal of limits on indoor and outdoor sports spectators.

“Maybe we’ll even get to watch the Canucks this fall,” Henry said. “Maybe they’ll have a good season.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Just Posted

Launched in January, Uplift Canada was founded by Tsawwassen resident Maggie Larocque. (submitted photo)
Surrey shelters get clothing collected June 26 by Uplift Canada

Book a pickup on website of the new non-profit, founded by Delta resident

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
‘Stay-at-home mom’ works to raise $25K to help Options build housing in Surrey

Tammy Bourelle boosts ‘Women of Options’ fundraising campaign, which ends June 30

Surrey Libraries will host a series of free contests and programs for teenagers this summer. (Malin Jordan photo)
Surrey Libraries offering series of free summer programs for teens

Writing contests, virtual programs scheduled throughout summer

Emergency crews responded to a large truck fire under the Alex Fraser Bridge around 8:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Christine Tobias/Twitter photo)
Dog dies in truck fire under Alex Fraser Bridge

No people were injured in blaze that consumed two semi-trucks around 8:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 17

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Most Read