Today we met with the BC Government to review the changes coming to workplace guidelines and restrictions.
Audio version of this article here.
The new restrictions mean those providing services for weddings or large events can look at booking their clients again. It also changes the way employers instruct employees on protocols outside of work. Finally, it opens the door for clients who are looking to go back to a professional work environment.
Premier John Horgan opened the meeting and passed along his deep gratitude to everyone in workplaces for following tight guidelines to stay safe. He said without those efforts, the province might have had to take different steps. The approach in BC was not to “lock down the province like a drum”, but rather to take a strategic plan to stay afloat. He expects the province to recover quickly from the pandemic since the economy was not as badly damaged as some other provinces.
Dr. Bonnie Henry stated this is a four-step plan and focused on going slowly. The emphasis will be to keep people safe and combining vaccines with protocols. “Current safety plans will stay in place until until summer. The revisions of those plans will begin in June”, she said. This plan will be based on a first-dose population.
Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services at WorkSafeBC, stated that current protocols need to stay in place
Weddings, travel, and people going back to work are the highlight of the announcement today.
Each step has a date, spaced about 3 weeks apart, however, the data will determine the roll-out over dates. The government has emphasized the need for ongoing safety protocols in place and continued vaccination rates. “We see July as being the where things really shift”, said Dr. Henry.
Step 1, May 25th:
- Personal gatherings will allowed to be 5 people inside in one house.
- Organized gatherings such as weddings, in a seated settings, will be allowed up to 10 people, and outdoor people up to 50 people.
- Travel will open for recreational travel within a region. Indoor dining will be back up to 6 people in a group.
- Workplaces will be allowed to reopen so people can get back to work.
- Low intensity fitness classes can reopen and outdoor sports can resume (without spectators).
Step 2, June 15th
- Masks will still be mandatory and keep physical distancing.
- Feeling sick = stay home guidance stays in place.
- Outdoor and indoor seated events up to 50 people, such as weddings.
- Travel will open to all of BC and crossing health regions will be permitted.
- Banquet halls will reopen.
- Continued return to work and in-person meeting are OK.
Step 3, July 1st
- If we continue to see a decline in cases, now we can “really start to move”.
- Masks will be recommended, but no longer required.
- Possibly the removal of public health orders, increased capacity indoor and outdoor events. Recreational travel from all across Canada will be welcome.
- New plans revealed from WSBC.
Step 4, Sept. 7th
- Back to as much as normal as we can expect and know that we have to live with this virus. Masks may be required in certain cases where there is a personal vulnerability.
- Continue to operate knowing winter can cause risks.
Continue all your protocols in place until Step 3. This includes mask use, sanitation, and workplace measures. BeautyCouncil will be working with the province starting this week to rebuild a new set of recommendations and steps