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

Over 600 Pitt Meadows citizens sign petition to protest North Lougheed development

Petition requests more environmental information before development decisions carried out

Pass slow and wide, please

Maple Ridge mom pleads with drivers to show care after daughter falls from spooked pony on 132nd Ave

Mounties collar suspect after shots ring out in Maple Ridge

Weekend incident on 227th Street leads police to Surrey for one arrest and gathering of evidence

‘Just getting to know Maple Ridge’: local resident discovers historical markers

Belle Morse Park was named after the former mayor who also served as a city councillor

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read