Happy Monday, Vancouver! And it’s a very special Monday to boot since health officials and Premier John Horgan have announced that more restrictions will be lifted starting tomorrow, June 15. The province is gearing up to move into Step 2 of BC’s Restart Plan. Curious about just what that means? Well, we’ve got answers!

While the earliest date to move into Step 2 is tomorrow, the more important part was meeting the criteria to move forward. This included having 65% of BC residents 18+ with at least one vaccine (we hit 75% last Friday), and that both case counts and hospitalizations have been declining (they have).

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So, we met the criteria, and now we get to reap the rewards! What are they? Well, we’ll let the BC Government cover that one:

Personal gatherings

  • Outdoor personal gatherings up to 50 people (birthday parties, backyard BBQs, block parties)
  • Playdates

Organized gatherings

  • Indoor seated organized gatherings up to 50 people with a COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Consultation with the sector begins for the next steps on indoor and outdoor organized gatherings.

Travel

  • Provincial travel restrictions lifted
  • Recreational travel within B.C. allowed
  • BC Transit and BC Ferries offers increased service as needed

Businesses

  • Liquor served until midnight
  • Banquet halls can operate with limited capacity and a COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Consultation with sector associations begins for the next steps on easing restrictions. ‚Äč

Offices and workplaces

  • Continued return to the workplace
  • Small, in-person meetings allowed

Sports and exercise

  • Indoor high-intensity group exercise allowed with reduced capacity
  • Indoor games and practices for both adults and youth group/team sports allowed
  • No spectators at any indoor sport activities
  • Outdoor spectators up to 50 allowed

So, what are some examples of these new rules? Well, you can have a birthday party in the backyard, visit a movie theatre with friends, or head to the Okanagan for a weekend getaway.

On the other hand, these updates do not mean that masks are no longer required in public spaces, or that there can be larger indoor gatherings. Basically, it’s a step forward, but not a full reopening. For more information, head to the BC Government website.