B.C. health officials, ministers and the premier are scheduled to reveal the details of the province’s second step of the restart plan on Monday (June 14) morning.
The province has been in Step 1 since May 25 and needed 65 per cent first dose vaccination coverage to enter Step 2 as scheduled on June 15. As of Friday, more than 75 per cent of adults in B.C. have received their first dose, with the percentage standing at 73.1 per cent for those 12 and older. B.C. is expected to receive a further 1.62 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the coming two weeks and the gap between first and second shots has been halved form 16 to eight weeks.
On Monday, Premier John Horgan, Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon, Health Minister Adrian Dix, Tourism and Sports Minister Melanie Mark and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry are expected to speak on Step 2. While B.C. has more than satisfied the vaccination requirements for Step 2 and hospitalizations and infections have declined to their lowest point since last October, the government has not yet confirmed if the province has met the requirements for the next restart step.
Step 2 would see a lifting or loosening of many restrictions, including allowing for a maximum of 50 people for outdoor social gathering, seated indoor organized gatherings and spectating outdoor sports, including reopening movie theatres, banquet halls and live theatre. It would also allow for the resumption of recreational travel around B.C., which has been discouraged since the fall and banned earlier this spring.
The mask mandate will remain in place until Step 3 in July, but businesses can begin returning non-essential employees to the workplace starting Tuesday if Step 2 moves ahead.