British Columbia unveiled its new COVID-19 restart plan on Tuesday afternoon.
The four-step plan includes the expansion of physical and social interaction, as well as opening up different sectors of the economy. It also details when organized indoor gatherings in venues such as movie theatres, banquet halls, and art halls could resume.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the province is aiming to increase the capacity of indoor seated environments during Step 2 of BC’s restart plan. In order to reach the second step, the province must have 65% of its adult population immunized with a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Cases and hospitalizations must also continue to be on the decline.
Government officials hope to enter Step 2 by mid-June (June 15 at the earliest), although they stress that they’ll be relying on data, rather than dates, to make this decision.
“Once we get to step 2 in June, we’ll be increasing the number of people who can be in indoor seated environments,” Henry explained. “This is when we expect to see things like theatres and movie houses being open again to allow people to safely, with a safety plan, come together and watch a movie.”
Ravi Khalon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery, and Innovation, added that they’ll be aiming to reopen banquet halls around the same time, with limited capacity and safety plans in place.