More restrictions lift in BC, but physical distancing continues

Although British Columbia is further easing restrictions and allowing non-essential travel within the province, physical distancing is still required. 

After the reopening of restaurants, gyms and provincial parks without a significant increase in new cases of COVID-19, the provincial government has moved to Phase 3 in its reopening plan. 

While this new phase allows residents to travel recreationally in BC, the province asks everyone to travel safely and respect the communities they visit. 

This means you shouldn’t travel if you are sick. While you are travelling, you should be following the same safety rules as you do at home: wash your hands and maintain at least two metres of distance from people who aren’t travelling with you. If physical distancing isn’t possible, wear a mask.   

Some indigenous communities are not welcoming visitors right now. If you are going to a smaller community, check ahead to make sure they allow visitors and, if they do, bring your own groceries and supplies.

If you are travelling to BC from another province or territory in Canada, you are expected to follow these same travel guideline.

In communities across BC, other facilities are reopening. In Vancouver, for instance, several outdoor pools and spray parks are reopening. Nine Vancouver beaches with be staffed with lifeguards this summer.

Caution still required

As more places reopen, officials remind everyone that the virus that causes COVID-19 is still in the community. 

The rules about gatherings haven’t changed. 

You don’t have to practice physical distancing with people in your immediate bubble ­– people you live with, close friends or immediate family – as long as nobody has symptoms or has come into contact with anyone with COVID-19. The province recommends keeping this bubble as small as possible.

If you’re meeting with anyone else, maintain physical distancing. Only gather in small groups of two to six people – and don’t hug or shake hands. 

Anyone in BC who thinks they might be sick with COVID-19 should use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool to determine if they should be tested.

Sources:

Phase 3 – BC’s restart plan (Government of British Columbia)

Travel and COVID-19 (BC Centre for Disease Control)