Provincial government announces plan for phase four
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
After a surge of cases during the holiday season last winter led to the third wave, we got to see the angriest that Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has been during a press conference. Five months after the first person in the province got the vaccine, everyone 12 years and over was eligible to get the vaccine.
During most of the pandemic in BC so far, we were in phase three of the province’s recovery plan. The restart plan was announced in a press conference on May 25 by Premier John Horgan, Dr. Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon.
If the amount of cases keep going down and more people get the vaccine, the province might be fully reopened by September. The press conference mainly focused on the first two steps. After a month of restrictions, phase one began where households can now have five visitors in the house and still 10 people in outdoor gatherings.
Restaurants and fitness centres can now be reopened again with limited capacity and recreational travel within your health region is allowed. In phase two, larger outdoor gatherings can happen with up to 50 people, you can travel around the province, and banquet halls can finally reopen with limited capacity and safety precautions in place. Outdoor sports can now have an audience up to 50 people and movie theatres can be reopened again just in time before the new Black Widow film is to be released.
The removal of more restrictions in the last two steps would lead to major events being uncancelled including the Fair at the PNE and maybe the Celebration of Light as long as there is a safety plan in place. Gatherings, businesses, and restaurants can be at full capacity and (depending on what happens in the rest of the country) you can now travel around the country. Kahlon explains how workplaces will be reopened in the plan where the number of people in meetings will increase as the months go by.
While there are not a lot of cases, you still have to practice social distancing and wear a mask until the pandemic is officially over. In the later steps, wearing a mask is a personal choice and will also depend on mask policies in businesses. If you did not get vaccinated yet, you can still get the shot.