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

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Mariah Segee (centre) was named 2021 Lady of the Lake last Saturday, with Megan Rowbottom (left) as first princess, and Macey Anderson (right) as second princess. (Submitted)
Lady of the Lake returns to Lake Cowichan

Mariah Segee takes the crown in first pageant since 2018

Darren Campbell's truck was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch (pictured) on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
UPDATE: Cowichan Bay Good Samaritan’s stolen truck recovered

‘Very much appreciated the help from so many people. I hope the very best for all of you’

Threads N Tails owner Lee-Ann Burke’s pet clothing has been featured on the cover of the June/July issue of Pet Connection Magazine. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan business featured on magazine cover

Lee-Ann Burke hopes the extra publicity will increase sales

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read