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)

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

Just Posted

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Comox Valley artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Jerry Dyck plans to purchase a new RV to drive across Canada in, once it’s safe to travel again. (Courtesy BCLC)
Victoria man plans post-pandemic cross-Canada RV trip after $2M lottery win

Retired electrician bought the winning ticket in Duncan

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

Rose Sawka, 91, waves to her son through the window of a care home in Prince Rupert in October. Residents of the care home received their first vaccine dose Jan. 20. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)
B.C. care home visitor access to expand by March, Dix says

Staff, residents, essential visitors top priorities for vaccine

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

(Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD arrest man at gunpoint after firearm call

Man faces charges for breaching condition not to possess replica firearms

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Katie Kroeker, president of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, said she is confident that Peninsula businesses “are going above and beyond in their Covid prevention measures” in being eager to welcome tourists and visitors to Vancouver Island.
Vancouver Island business leader questions wisdom of limiting inter-provincial travel

Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce president Katie Kroeker says manage, don’t shut down

Following a cease work order from the District of Highlands in October, the BC Supreme Court ruled Jan. 20. that bylaws won’t apply to O.K. Industries’ work until its quarrying activity is complete. (Courtesy of District of Highlands)
BC Supreme Court rules Highlands quarry work can continue

District bylaws won’t apply until quarrying activities are complete

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Most Read