BC moves into Step 3 of BC Restart Plan

As of July 1, 2021, BC is moving into Step 3 of the BC Restart Plan. As a result, various changes have been recently made by the Provincial Government which affect BC employers and workplaces.

Step 3

During Step 3:

  • Masks – masks will be recommended rather than mandatory in indoor public spaces for those who are 12 and older and are not yet fully vaccinated. Accordingly, the BC government has repealed the Face Coverings (COVID-19) Order effective end of day on June 30, 2021;
  • Personal gatherings – Indoor and outdoor personal gatherings return to normal with no limit on the number of people who can attend;
  • Organized gatherings – maximum capacity for indoor and outdoor organized gatherings will increase following communicable prevention guidance. Current maximum capacity for outdoor events with seating is 5,000 persons or 50% of the seated operating capacity of the place, and for indoor events with seating is 50 persons or 50% of the seated operating capacity of the place;
  • Travel – individuals can return to Canada-wide recreational travel;
  • Restaurants, bars, pubs – No group limits for indoor and outdoor dining, and events are allowed. Restaurants, bars and pubs return to normal liquor service hours. No socializing between tables is permitted. Nightclubs can operate with up to 10 people seated at tables and with no dancing permitted. Bingo halls and casinos can operate with reduced capacity.
  • Sports – Indoor fitness classes, gyms and recreational facilities allowed to operate at normal capacity. Limits remain on spectators for both indoor and outdoor sporting events (the greater of 5,000 people or 50% capacity for outdoor, and the greater of 50 people or 50% capacity for indoor events).
  • Offices and workplaces – Workplaces will transition from using COVID-19 Safety Plans to using Communicable Disease Plans for which WorksafeBC posted guidance on June 30, 2021: More information on this issue will be posted on our website shortly.

State of emergency cancelled

The state of emergency throughout the Province of British Columbia, first declared on March 18, 2020 under the Emergency Program Act, has also been cancelled as of June 30, 2021.

Protective Measures (COVID-19) Order No. 2

The Protective Measures (COVID-19) Order has been replaced by the Protective Measures (COVID-19) Order No. 2, under which the Gatherings and Events Order and Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order are further clarified and enforced. The updated order continues to prohibit individuals from organizing, hosting or attending non-compliant gatherings or events. The updated ministerial order continues to require a person to comply with directions given by an enforcement officer, including a direction to disperse, and to not engage in abusive or belligerent behaviour towards an enforcement officer, operator or another individual trying to enforce the Gatherings and Events Order and Food and Liquor Serving Premises Orders. The order also provides medical health officers the ability to take additional or more restrictive steps to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, based upon the different level of risk present in different geographical regions of the province.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact Sari Wiens, Ilan Burkes, Nicole Toye or Jessica Fairbairn.