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
With the 2021 federal election just two days away, it is still a tight race between the Liberals and Conservatives, according to the latest polling data from Nanos Research.
There will be no let up in campaigning today as the main party leaders count down the remaining hours and minutes to Monday's federal election. The latest polling suggests Trudeau's Liberals and O'Toole's Tories are in a virtual dead heat.
During the pandemic, people have been spending even more time on their social media and all political parties are hoping to take advantage. Experts across the country are watching to see which party's social media strategy will pay off on election day.
With a fourth wave of the pandemic underway, provinces and territories are responding with a variety of restrictions. CTVNews.ca looks at what is and is not allowed in each jurisdiction.
Last in the polls and amid climate crisis, Green Party leader defends record ahead of final election sprint
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul is defending her party's performance in the federal election campaign, with the party trailing in national support polling despite climate change being one of the top issues for voters, in a sit-down interview with CTV National News.
Afghan schools will open for boys from Saturday, the new Taliban ministry of education said in a statement that gave no indication of when girls might be able to go back to their classes.
France's ambassador to Australia described Saturday as a 'huge mistake' Australia's surprise cancellation of a major submarine contract in favour of a U.S. deal, delivering a final protest as the envoy was recalled from the country in an unprecedented show of anger among the allies.
Endorsements for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau from former U.S. president Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have raised questions about election interference. But according to the Canada Elections Act, a foreign citizen speaking about the Canadian election does not by itself constitute an instance of undue foreign influence.
A child under the age of 10, who Waterloo Region's medical officer of health said had underlying health conditions, has died due to COVID-19.
Technically, it’s still summer, but Friday felt like winter. The rain fell hard on Southern Vancouver Island, where total precipitation was expected to be in the 35-millimetre range through the evening.
Almost 200 nurses rallied at Premier John Horgan’s constituency office Friday to demand an end to the chronic nursing shortage in B.C. hospitals and patient care facilities.
There are now 6,031 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including 700 active cases in the Vancouver Island region, according to the B.C. Health Ministry.
In a letter written to Alberta's education and health ministers, one Calgary school board says it is 'frustrated' by the lack of direction being given to them amid the rising cases of COVID-19's fourth wave.
Alberta's effort in fighting COVID-19 has been given a shot to the arm thanks to a big day of vaccination.
CTV Lethbridge reporter Terry Vogt calls it a career after 49 years of telling southern Alberta stories
Terry Vogt would have liked to be a play-by-play announcer calling Habs games in their glory days, but Danny Gallivan got in the way of that. Somewhere in there Vogt got converted to reporting, and communities across southern Alberta are that much richer because of it.
Alberta reported more than 2,000 daily COVID-19 cases for the first time since May on Friday.
The term "triage" may be a scary one to hear, but Alberta's health authorities are preparing its staff and the public for the possibility of that extreme measure.
A 24-year-old mother and her 16-month-old were found dead in Hinton, Alta., RCMP said.
The province just hit a new milestone in the number of cannabis retailers on our streets.
A new Ontario mom is now learning she doesn’t qualify for parental leave benefits and will have to return to work much sooner than expected.
In the three weeks since Ontario unveiled its vaccine certificate program, Premier Doug Ford has been notably absent from the public eye, with the exception of videos posted to social media and a virtual address last week in Toronto.
A Quebec Superior Court judge has ruled that, unlike in Ontario, the court cannot require jurors in a criminal trial to be fully vaccinated.
Two armed assaults left one man dead and two injured last night in Montreal.
A spokesperson for the hospital where he died said the man's condition 'deteriorated rapidly.' Friends identified him as Stefanos Govas, a 39-year-old athlete.
A restaurant that has been in operation in Winnipeg for 63 years is no more.
A crash closed part of the South Perimeter Highway Friday night.
Winnipeggers might face some delays when driving on the Perimeter Highway Saturday.
Saskatchewan’s far north COVID-19 case rate in the last seven days is sitting at 1,180 per 100,000 people – the highest across Canada.
As the province prepares to roll out proof of vaccination, some are concerned that the aging portion of Saskatchewan’s population may not be able to easily adapt to the QR code that is planned on being used.
Seven more Saskatchewan residents have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
Seven more Saskatchewan residents have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
Regina vaccine clinic, rapid testing site dealing with influx of people following COVID-19 announcement
A COVID-19 vaccination clinic and a rapid testing site are dealing with a large amount of people, following Thursday’s announcement from the provincial government on plans to implement a proof of vaccination or a negative test policy.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority's Emergency Operations Centre directed leaders and care teams to move to a second phase of surge plans that include a temporary slowdown of elective procedures province-wide.
The cause of the tragic trailer fire in Millvale, N.S., that killed a family of six has been ruled accidental.
New Brunswick's jump in COVID-19 cases has overloaded the health-care system this week.
A supervisor at a Wendy's restaurant in Sydney, N.S., has pleaded guilty to sexual assault.
London police are asking the public for information after locating a vehicle believed to be involved in the shooting death of Lynda Cruz Marques a week ago.
The Thames Valley District School Board is reporting 92 per cent of educators and support staff who filled out attestations, are fully or partially vaccinated.
Waterloo regional police are investigating after a man was found with injuries in a Kitchener apartment building lobby.
The Downtown Kitchener Ribfest and Craft Beer Show is welcoming guests at Victoria Park from Friday to Sunday after it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.