May 25, 2021

Dear ABLE BC members and industry colleagues,

It’s been a long 15 months. Filled with extraordinary challenges and unimaginable sacrifices. I’m immensely proud of how our industry – how each of you – have worked together to lead the fight against this pandemic. It’s been a struggle to keep the economy open, and at times it’s felt like our industry has been unfairly penalized. But today, victory is in sight. This is the day we’ve all been working toward.

With indoor dining restored today, we are taking the first step toward economic recovery. For the first time in 15 months, we can all feel optimistic about our shared future.

We have a lot of work to do and we’re not quite out of this yet, but today is a momentous step forward.

Thank you for hard work and sacrifices these past 15 months. Please see below for the details of BC’s four-part Restart Plan.

I invite you to join us at ABLE BC’s Monthly Q&A this Thursday, May 27 at 10:00 am PT via Zoom where we’ll be discussing the plan in more detail and answering any questions you may have. RSVP here.

As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at jeff@ablebc.ca with any questions.

-Jeff

BC’s Restart Plan

With more than 60 per cent of adults vaccinated with their first dose and COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations steadily declining, British Columbia is moving forward with the first step of a four-step plan for a careful and safe restart.

The four-step restart plan was designed based on data and guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Progressing through the steps will be measured by the number of adults vaccinated, COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths. While there are approximate dates, government notes the plan will be guided by data, not dates.

STEP 1: Starting May 25

The criteria for Step 1 is at least 60% of the 18+ population vaccinated with dose 1, along with stable case counts and COVID-19 hospitalizations. 

PHO guidance

New things you can do

  • Outdoor personal gatherings up to 10 people
  • Indoor personal gatherings up to 5 people or 1 other household
  • Outdoor seated organized gatherings up to 50 people with a COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Indoor seated organized gatherings up to 10 people with a COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Recreational travel within your travel region allowed
  • Non-essential travel between travel regions continues to be restricted
  • Indoor and outdoor dining for groups up to 6 people (not restricted to your household or bubble)
  • Liquor served until 10 pm
  • Start a gradual return to workplaces
  • Employers must continue to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and daily health check in place
  • Indoor low intensity group exercise allowed with limited capacity
  • Outdoor games and practices for both adults and youth group/team sports allowed
  • No spectators at any indoor or outdoor sport activities

STEP 2: Earliest start date June 15

The criteria for moving to Step 2 is at least 65% of the 18+ population vaccinated with dose 1, along with declining case counts and COVID-19 hospitalizations.

PHO guidance

New things you can do

  • Outdoor personal gatherings up to 50 people (birthday parties, backyard BBQs, block parties)
  • Indoor seated organized gatherings up to 50 people with a COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Provincial travel restrictions lifted
  • Recreational travel within B.C. allowed
  • BC Transit and BC Ferries offers increased service as needed
  • Liquor served until midnight
  • Banquet halls can operate with limited capacity and a COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Continued return to the workplace
  • Small, in-person meetings allowed
  • Indoor high intensity group exercise allowed with reduced capacity
  • Indoor games and practices for both adults and youth group/team sports allowed
  • No spectators at any indoor sport activities
  • Outdoor spectators up to 50 allowed

STEP 3: Earliest start date July 1

The criteria for moving to Step 3 is at least 70% of the 18+ population vaccinated with dose 1, along with low case counts and declining COVID-19 hospitalizations. 

PHO guidance

  • Masks are recommended in public indoor settings
  • Engage in careful social contact
  • If you or anyone in your family feels sick stay home and get tested immediately

New things you can do

  • Return to usual for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings
  • Increased capacity at both indoor and outdoor organized gatherings with a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place
  • Fairs and festivals can operate with a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place
  • Canada-wide recreational travel
  • No group limit for indoor and outdoor dining
  • Liquor service restrictions lifted
  • Bingo halls, casinos and nightclubs can operate with a limited capacity
  • Businesses and workplaces must operate based on a new sector COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Continued return to the workplace
  • Seminars and bigger meetings allowed
  • All indoor fitness classes allowed, usual capacity
  • Limited indoor spectators allowed

STEP 4: Earliest start date September 7

The criteria for moving to Step 4 is more than 70% of the 18+ population vaccinated with dose 1, along with low case counts and low COVID-19 hospitalizations. 

PHO guidance

  • Masks in public indoor settings a personal choice
  • Normal social contact
  • If you or anyone in your family feels sick stay home and get tested immediately

New things you can do

  • Return to normal personal gatherings and social contact
  • Increased capacity at large organized gatherings, like a concert
  • Canada-wide recreational travel
  • Businesses will continue to operate based on the new COVID-19 safety guidelines and their updated COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Workplaces fully reopened
  • Return to normal sport competitions with an updated COVID-19 Safety Plan in place
  • Increased outdoor and indoor spectators

For more information on BC’s Restart Plan, please click here.

Updated PHO Public Order

Indoor and outdoor dining is allowed with capacity limits based on physical distancing requirements and other rules, including a maximum of 6 people at a table (not restricted to your household or bubble).

Customers must continue to wear a mask when not at a table and events are still prohibited.

Pubs, bars, and restaurants must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and employee protocols in place. WorkSafeBC will be conducting inspections to verify that COVID-19 Safety Plans remain effective. Establishments that are non-compliant with plan requirements may face orders and fines, and possible referral to public health which may result in a closure order.

An updated public order for Food and Liquor Serving Premises was released on May 24, 2021.

Essentially, food and liquor serving premises are returning to the restrictions that were in place prior to to the Circuit Breaker restrictions.

Highlights from the order:

  • Nightclubs must continue to cease operating as a nightclub.
  • Indoor and outdoor dining is allowed with capacity limits based on physical distancing requirements and other rules, laid out in the public order.
  • If patrons remain on the premises, other than tasting rooms with a liquor manufacturer licence, after being served or serving themselves, there must be sufficient seating for them, whether at tables, booths or counters, and patrons must be seated.
  • Patrons must remained seated in all premises, other than cafeterias or tasting rooms with a liquor manufacturer’s licence, except to use a self- serve food or non-alcoholic drink station, use a self-serve lottery ticket dispenser, pay at a pay station, use washroom facilities or when leaving the premises.
  • Patrons who are not in the same party must be seated two metres apart from one another, unless they are separated by a physical barrier.
  • There must be no more than six patrons seated at a table or booth, even if they belong to the same party.
  • Dance floors must be closed with physical barriers or occupied with tables.
  • Patrons must not sing, engage in Karaoke, or dance on the premises. Jam and open mic sessions must not be held on the premises.
  • Background music, including live solo and live group or band music, and any other background sounds, including from televisions and electronic sound producing devices, must not be amplified and must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation.
  • No person may sell liquor between 10:00 pm and 9:00 am on the following day.
  • Unless a full meal service is provided, premises which are licensed to serve liquor must close between 11:00 pm and 9:00 am the following day, and all patrons must vacate the premises. If a full meal service is provided, premises may stay open, but liquor service must not resume until 9:00 am the following day.
  • No person, including a patron, owner, operator or staff member may consume liquor on the premises after 11:00 pm.
  • The Gatherings and Events Order applies to the holding of events on your premises.
  • You must not engage in, permit or promote any of the following with respect to or on your premises:
    • an event that is prohibited under the Gatherings and Events Order
    • the sale of advance tickets
    • an entrance cover charge
    • door prizes or giveaways
    • raffles
    • 50/50 draws
    • decorations associated with an event
    • staff in costumes associated with an event
    • promotion of the sale of food or drink associated with an event

For more information, please read the updated public order and review the guidance for outside dining spaces.

For more information:

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC: info@ablebc.ca.


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