British Columbia is taking the next step in its return to normal.

With almost 80% of adults receiving their first dose of a vaccine and COVID-19 case counts continuing to decline, BC is moving to Step 3 of its four-step plan to reopen the province and relax restrictions.

Starting July 1, there will be a return to normal for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings, casinos and nightclubs will be allowed to reopen with reduced capacity, and a return to normal for sports and exercise facilities with communicable disease plans in place.

Step 3 also means:

  • maximum capacity for indoor organized gatherings of 50 people or up to 50% of a venue’s total capacity, whichever is greater.
  • maximum capacity for outdoor organized gatherings of 5,000 people or up to 50% of a venue’s total capacity, whichever is greater.
  • return to normal for fairs, festivals and trade shows, with communicable disease plans.
  • return to Canada-wide recreational travel.
  • return to normal hours for liquor service at restaurants, bars and pubs with table limits to be determined by venue and no socializing between tables.
  • mask wearing recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated.

“British Columbians have stepped up at every stage throughout this pandemic,” said Premier John Horgan. “We’ve helped our neighbours stay safe, we’ve sacrificed time with friends and family, and we have diligently registered to get vaccinated. We’ve now reached a point in our vaccination efforts when we can begin to remove restrictions. Let’s continue to respect everyone’s comfort level as we safely take another step toward putting this pandemic behind us.”

Moving to Step 3 also signals the end to the longest provincial state of emergency in BC’s history. The state of emergency, which has been in place since March 18, 2020, will end at 11:50 pm on June 30. BC’s public health emergency will remain in effect during Step 3 to support amended public health orders from the provincial health officer.

As part of the move to Step 3, businesses will gradually transition to new communicable disease plans, with guidelines released by WorkSafeBC on June 28. The plans will continue to include physical barriers at many business and retail settings. Capacity limits, formal health screening tests and directional arrows, as well as other physical distancing measures will no longer be required. However, they many still be used during the transition period. However, UCW is still requiring masks.

“Step 3 is a major milestone for British Columbians,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “We can now resume more of the activities and occasions we enjoy, workplaces and businesses will have more flexibility, and it opens the door for more economic activity as we transition into summer.”

The province has said the earliest date to move to Step 4 of the reopening plan is Sept. 7.

While University Canada West’s upcoming Summer (July) 2021 Term will be online, the University continues to prepare for a full return to on-campus classes for the Fall (October) Term.

“We look forward to welcoming students back to our beautiful new Vancouver House Campus as we look to make a full return to in-class learning in October,” said Brock Dykeman, UCW President & Vice-Chancellor.

In March, Dr. Henry announced that colleges and universities should prepare for a full return to on-campus education in the fall.

UCW will continue to update students, faculty and staff on all health and safety measures in place on campus.

Published on June 30, 2021.