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

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of May 31

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

The Lower Mainland Green Team and students from Earl Marriott Secondary remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park. (Contributed photo)
Green Team returns to White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park to monitor previous work

Environmental volunteers, South Surrey students remove invasive species

People were lined up around the fields at a drop-in vaccine clinic at Newton Athletic Park on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), which is one of the high-transmission neighbourhoods that are being given vaccine priority. This clinic was one of at least three to open in the city on Tuesday. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly cases continue to drop, push for 80% vaccination rate citywide

BCCDC reports 263 cases for Surrey the week of May 30 to June 5

Friends of Bear Creek Park held a ‘yellow-ribbon event’ on Saturday (June 12, 2021), with protesters at 84th Avenue and King George Boulevard and 84th Avenue and 140th Street. People were asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard “to celebrate and to show support for our trees in Bear Creek Park.” (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Protesters hold ‘yellow-ribbon’ event at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park

People asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard to ‘show support for our trees’

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read