Step 2: B.C. lifts more COVID-19 restrictions including ban on travel within the province
B.C. is moving ahead in its COVID-19 restart plan and lifting more restrictions, health officials announced Monday.
The changes come into effect on Tuesday, Premier John Horgan said in a news conference alongside Dr. Bonnie Henry and multiple cabinet ministers.
The government previously said COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations must be "declining" and at least 65 per cent of the adult population must be at least partially vaccinated before the province could move ahead with its restart plan.
More than 75 per cent of B.C. adults have now received at least one dose of vaccine.
Henry said data shows the province is "in a good position" with case counts and hospitalizations.
"Our progress so far, like the entire pandemic is a shared effort. A shared effort between public health, businesses, between every individual here in British Columbia," Henry said Monday. "We can all be proud of what we have achieved over the last few weeks."
Henry first announced the province's four-step plan last month. Here's what Step 2 includes:
Provincial travel restrictions will be lifted starting Tuesday, allowing for recreational travel within B.C. Non-essential travel outside the three designated health regions was banned on April 23. In anticipation of the influx of travellers, BC Transit and BC Ferries will be offering increased service as needed.
"This means we can visit family or friends across B.C. and stay for a while and visit in those communities," Henry said.
Horgan said non-essential travel from outside the province is still discouraged, however.
"Our advice to other Canadians is we will welcome you down the road, but not today," he said. "If you don't have business in British Columbia, it's our preference that you stay where you are."
The limit on outdoor personal gatherings, including birthday parties, backyard barbecues and block parties is increasing to 50 people. The cap on indoor personal gatherings will remain at five people or one other household, but playdates are allowed.
Seated indoor gatherings are increasing to 50 people, in line with the previous limit on seated outdoor and religious worship services. For larger places of worship, as much as 10 per cent capacity is allowed, if it's larger than 50. Weddings are considered events and follow indoor and outdoor organized gatherings rules.
Henry explained those rules mean indoor theatres – including movie theatres – can safely operate with capacity limits and COVID-19 safety plans in place.
The cap on indoor and outdoor dining of six people at restaurants will remain in effect, though liquor will be served until midnight, instead of 10 p.m. For the first time in months, banquet halls will be able to operate with limited capacity and a COVID-19 safety plan in place. Consultation with sector associations will also begin for next steps on easing restrictions.
Offices and workplaces
Offices are allowed to continue gradually bringing employees back to workplaces. COVID-19 Safety Plan and daily health checks will remain mandatory. Step 2 allows small, in-person meetings as well.
Sports and exercise
Both high- and low intensity-indoor group exercise will be permitted with reduced capacity. Indoor and outdoor games and practices for both adults and youth group/team sports are also returning. Up to 50 spectators are now allowed outdoors, but are still banned indoors.
Under Step 2, the province's mask rules for indoor public spaces are still in place.
"Physically distancing and giving others space is also still required," Henry said.
"We need to recognize that not everybody is at the same place right now and we need to respect their ability to stay away from others."
After Step 2, the earliest date more restrictions will be lifted is July 1. Henry and Horgan emphasized officials will be closely monitoring cases, hospitalizations and vaccination rates over the next two weeks before moving to Step 3.
"We will continue to monitor through the incubation period before moving to the next stage," Henry said. "We will expect to have continued progress, moving back where we can get more of our social connections back together."
Vancouver Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
In an interview with CTV National News, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Quebec’s secularism law is undoubtedly discriminatory, but won’t commit to federal intervention if elected prime minister.
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole refused to say Thursday whether he still thinks Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has handled the pandemic better than the federal government, as the province faces a rapidly worsening COVID-19 situation.
With just three days now until the federal election, the main party leaders will be keeping the campaign throttle wide open today as they chase any still undecided votes in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Canada has now fully vaccinated 78.37 per cent of the country's eligible population.
Health Canada has authorized brand name changes for three COVID-19 vaccines. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now be named Comirnaty, the Moderna vaccine will be named SpikeVax, and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria, Health Canada said in a tweet Thursday.
Environics Analysis data shows that in ridings where the People's Party of Canada could draw votes from the Conservatives, it would help entrench Liberal or NDP seats. Further, the PPC’s impact could be drawing support from those who didn’t vote in 2019.
A trio of Chinese astronauts returned to Earth on Friday after a 90-day stay aboard their nation's first space station in China's longest mission yet.
The United States has reached another grim milestone in its fight against the devastating COVID-19 pandemic: 1 in 500 Americans have died from coronavirus since the nation's first reported infection.
A man who was abducted early Thursday morning has been located with life-threatening injuries following a shooting and home invasion that left one of his sons dead and another in critical condition, Hamilton police say.
The new cases were among 706 cases found across the province over the past 24 hours.
Saanich's Shelbourne corridor has seen a spike in crime over the last three months. According to police, it started when the former Mount Tolmie Hospital was taken over by BC Housing.
Our Place Society in Victoria, which offers supports to homeless and vulnerable people, suspended its drop-in service on Thursday due to safety concerns.
Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi had some harsh words for Jason Kenney, his government and his most recent policies on combating COVID-19's fourth wave on Thursday.
Police are investigating in Coventry Hills following a shooting that took place Thursday night.
Families waiting for life-changing procedures at the Stollery Children’s Hospital whose surgeries have been postponed to make more room for increased COVID-19 hospitalizations are worried about the long-term impacts of not receiving treatments when needed.
'We need to bend that curve': Alberta could transfer ICU patients to Ontario as hospitalizations near 900
The province now has 18,706 active cases, 896 hospitalizations and 222 ICU admissions.
Less than 24 hours after Jason Kenney's Alberta government announced new restrictions aimed at easing the burden on the province's healthcare system, municipal leaders are trying to gain clarity on what the new rules will mean for their jurisdictions.
In the wake of new provincial restrictions and mere days before a vaccine passport-like system is implemented in Alberta, entrepreneurs are figuring how to play the hand they've been dealt.
COVID-19 outbreaks declared at two Toronto elementary schools as boards report more than 100 new cases
COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at two Toronto elementary schools just one week after students returned to the classroom.
The teacher was employed at Secord Elementary School in Toronto at the time of his arrest.
The province’s police watchdog is investigating after a York Regional Police officer fired an anti-riot weapon at a man in Markham Thursday night.
A spokesperson for the hospital where he died said the man's condition 'deteriorated rapidly.'
What to expect at Bill 96 hearings: architects of Bill 101 to speak, Liberals ask CAQ not to truncate debate
Even before the language debate resumes next week in the National Assembly, Dominique Anglade's Liberals say they fear the Legault government wants to gag the opposition by forcing through Bill 96. Meanwhile, the list of speakers promises a fiery defence of Bill 101 and a critique of Bill 96 for not being strong enough.
The first day of strike action in early childhood centres across Quebec will take place in a week, barring a deal.
Manitoba's nursing shortage is not unique to any one hospital, and one nurse working in Steinbach says the environment is sending nurses running.
Lawyers for a Winnipeg man on trial for murdering three-year-old Hunter Smith-Straight two years ago pointed the finger at the child’s cousin as the person responsible for his death.
The largest federal riding in the province is being challenged by a new candidate.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has announced a temporary indoor masking mandate that will come into force on Friday followed by a proof-of-vaccination policy. It's a move that comes after growing calls from residents in the province to install more measures.
The U of S Huskies football team, like other university teams, have not played a game against another opponent in nearly two years and players say that is jacking up excitement for this weekends preseason game against Manitoba.
Saskatchewan confirmed 439 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, along with one new death.
Saskatchewan confirmed 439 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, along with one new death.
Cody Fajardo will start against the Toronto Argonauts on Friday, however, the Riders will be without A.C. Leonard.
Emergency room doctors say the trickle-down effects from the latest emergency room closures in N.S. are making their jobs a nightmare
Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting 34 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, along with 20 recoveries, as the number of active cases in the province rises to 173.
Health officials in Prince Edward Island announced two additional cases of COVID-19 on Thursday night, both linked to the outbreak at a Charlottetown elementary school.
Western University students are set to walk out of classes Friday to protest sexual violence on and around the campus.
London police say they have a youth in custody following an alleged double stabbing on Fanshawe Park Road East.
With the election just days away leader of the Conservatives, Erin O’Toole will be making a visit to London Friday.
Sparks flew in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday as candidates in the riding get in some final blows before the Sept. 20 federal election.
North Bay’s Jewish community disappointed by PPC candidate’s tweet comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust
Members of North Bay's Jewish community are disappointed in People’s Party of Canada candidate Greg Galante, who compared COVID-19 measures to the Holocaust.
Few details are available at this hour, but CTV has received reports that there has been a plane crash near Sundridge, Ont.
Charges for a 23-year-old man have been upgraded to manslaughter after a man died from injuries he sustained in an assault in Brantford last week.
A 55-year-old man is dead after his motorcycle crashed into another vehicle around 4 p.m. Thursday in Brantford.
'This could have been avoided': Parents call for safety upgrades after Cambridge boy struck by vehicle on Myers Road
A Cambridge family is calling for action on what they call an unsafe stretch of road after a young child was hit by a vehicle after school last week.