As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to drop across the province, the restrictions that have become part of our everyday lives are also beginning to disappear.
Personal gatherings and many businesses are allowed to return to pre-COVID-19 operations this week as B.C. public health officials have given the green light to step three of the province’s reopening plan.
Face masks are no longer required in public indoor areas as of July 1, but they are still recommended for people 12 or older who are not yet fully vaccinated. Proof of vaccination is not required, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed Tuesday.
Restaurants, bars and pubs can return to liquor service hours open until midnight, and host events with table limits determined by venue and no socializing between tables. Nightclubs can reopen with up to 10 people seated at tables two metres apart, but no dancing. Casinos are being allowed to reopen with reduced capacity and half of their gaming stations in operation, and barriers and masks are recommended.
ALSO READ: B.C. businesses may still require masks as COVID-19 order lifts
Henry said wearing a mask is advised in places such as transit buses where groups of people who don’t know each other gather in close quarters. BC Transit is recommending the use of face coverings in BC Transit communities across the province. Masks have been required on transit buses since August of last year.
ALSO READ: Masks recommended on transit across B.C.
The public health recommendation for continued mask use is for everyone 12 and up who isn’t 14 days past receiving their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The greater freedom of going without a mask in public indoor spaces is being used as an incentive to get more people immunized, and follow up with booster doses as the summer progresses.
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