Barrier protects checkout clerk at a grocery store in North Vancouver, March 22, 2020. Other businesses are expected to use similar strategies to minimize risk to customers and employees. (The Canadian Press)

COVID-19: B.C. prepares to restart more retail, services, offices in May

Dentistry, hair salons, restaurants need approved protection plans

The B.C. government is moving cautiously to open up more businesses and services in the COVID-19 pandemic, with businesses, medical and other services required to show how they will increase protection for customers and employees.

Premier John Horgan released B.C.’s “restart plan” May 6, without specific dates for activities to resume. The plan provides that starting in mid-May, with additional safety measures in place, B.C. residents can look forward to small gatherings, dentistry, physiotherapy and other services, and most provincial parks reopened for day use starting May 14. If infection rates remain low, some camping can resume by June 1.

“We’re going to be proceeding carefully, bit by bit, one step at a time,” Horgan said, emphasizing that the ability of the health care to handle COVID-19 cases is paramount.

The B.C. legislature is also expected to resume sitting, dealing with the financial impact of two months of lost employment and business income, and unprecedented public spending to support people and businesses.

Other activities to be reviewed by WorkSafeBC and resumed this spring are restaurants and pubs that have sufficient distance measures, as well as museums, art galleries, libraries and office-based work sites.

RELATED: B.C. records 23 more COVID-19 cases, three deaths

RELATED: Ottawa to fix glitch in benefit for pregnant women

The plans will build on techniques already in place for essential services such as grocery stores, with barriers and controls on the number of people in an indoor space at one time.

The health ministry and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will continue monitoring coronavirus cases as public interaction increases into the summer, and bracing for a possible increase as fall approaches with the resumption of seasonal influenza as well as COVID-19 risk.

Horgan emphasized that large gatherings, like spectator sports, are off the table for the foreseeable future. While some in-class instruction is being provided for the children of essential workers, full public school and post-secondary isn’t expected to come back until fall.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Historic Hat Creek finds novel way to keep part of site open

VIP shopping experience offers people private visit to site’s gift shop

Mobile harm reduction service making weekly trips to Cache Creek

Service provides free kits, instruction, information, and referrals to those who need it

Ashcroft food bank benefits from donation as demand increases

Community Futures Thompson Country provides much-needed cash donation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

‘Great Regional Air Hug’ being organized by the Vanderhoof International Airshow Society

A multi-aircraft flyover over the region is being planned for August 15.

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read