Are you ready to travel across Canada? Will you stop wearing a mask?
Starting July 1, British Columbians may enjoy Canada-wide travel, larger “normal” gatherings, larger groups at restaurants and no restrictions for alcohol service, just to name a few of the eased restrictions.
But while masks will no longer be required in public indoor settings, Premier John Horgan said he will continue to don a face covering in most settings.
Additionally, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry emphasized that people need to continue to exercise caution and show respect for each other’s boundaries.
“I think it’s very important for all of us to respect that we’re in different places, and not everybody is ready to let things go at the same pace and that includes businesses and some workplaces as well,” she said.
B.C.’s top doctor added that British Columbians should ensure they are fully vaccinated this summer and follow the guidance in B.C.’s restart plan. She also noted that individual facilities and stores may continue to require masks.
“I ask people to support businesses, to protect their workers, and to live up to their requirements,” she said.
Since only 30 per cent of people have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, Henry said many people may continue to wear masks or prefer to stick to a small group of close contacts.
The provincial health officer referred to the “golden rules for everybody” during Step 3 of the restart plan as the “basics” to keep everyone safe this summer.
In addition to staying home when you’re sick, Henry said people should continue to respect each other’s personal space and appreciate that not everyone will feel comfortable moving forward with the eased restrictions.
“Not everybody’s ready for a handshake now — we’ve never been through something like this before,” she said. “It may be fist bumps and elbow bumps for a while yet for many people.
“It’s always safer, or less risky outdoors, and you need to consider other people’s situations, and I’ve said this many times we don’t always know another person’s story.”
The four-step restart plan was designed based on data and guidance from the public health team led by Henry and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Progressing to each step of the plan will be measured by the number of people vaccinated, COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations and deaths and other key public health metrics.