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 architect for Langford building ruled ‘unreasonable’ by B.C. Supreme Court

Legal action brought against City in 2019 for permit issued on Hoffman Avenue building

Colwood drive-thru window smashed after suspect receives burger without mustard

Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Pauquachin First Nation calls on North Saanich to help restore shellfish in Coles Bay

The nation identifies ‘residential onsite septic systems’ as one of sources of contamination

Pool deck turns patio as Saanich restaurant cooks up creative outdoor seating options

District supports local businesses such as The Lakes Restaurant in creating seating

Victoria police searching for suspect after baseball bat assault

Man assaulted in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Most Read