The rules and issues around the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve and information changes consistently. Please take note of when our content was written and always go to the sources we’ve provided for the most current guidance.
In mid-May, phase 2 of the Government of BC’s Restart Plan will be upon us and some services may re-open. Today, we’re sharing some information from the Government of BC’s website, so you know what to expect in phase 2, and what you can do to continue to keep yourself, and those around you, safe.
What will phase 2 look like?
Currently, we are in phase 1 of BC’s Restart Plan. In this phase essential services have remained open. Phase 2 will re-introduce some more services.
Provided the following can ensure safe operation (physical distancing, etc.), these are the services you can expect to see re-opening in phase 2:
- Restoration of health services
- Re-scheduling elective surgeries
- Medically related services:
- Dentistry, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, and chiropractors
- Physical therapy, speech therapy, and similar services
- In-person counselling
- Office-based worksites
- Retail sector
- Hair salons, barbers, and other personal service establishments
- Restaurants, cafes, and pubs (with sufficient distancing measures)
- Museums, art galleries, and libraries
- Recreation and sports
- Parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces
Even as some services resume, expect to embrace a new normal that incorporates physical distancing and other measures to reduce the spread of disease. In other words, while some services may resume in some capacity, they likely won’t look the same as they did a few months ago.
When does phase 2 begin? How long will it last?
Phase 2 will begin in mid-May. Many provincial parks opened for day use on May 14th, and some of the other services on the list will begin to open early next week.
However, phase 2 does not have an end date. Instead, the move into phase 3 will be cautiously incremental, with estimated re-start dates for specific industries and services in phase 3 ranging from June-September 2020.
The continued re-opening (and maintained levels) of services will depend on how effectively the spread of disease is contained—an outcome we can all impact with our actions.
So, how can you do your part to continue to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Phase 2?
What you should do in phase 2:
The Government of BC has suggested some “little things that make a big difference” to help us all make the transition into phase 2 (and beyond) a safe and successful one. As we move into a new phase, we’ve collected some helpful tips on what you should be doing.
Here’s what you can do to help:
- Stay informed: continue to make use of reliable sources to get updated information. Some good candidates include:
- Practice good hygiene
- Practice frequent hand washing (for 20 seconds, with soap)
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, especially in public
- Cough into your sleeve/elbow
- Disinfect high-touch surfaces
- Clean your home and workspace more frequently
- If you feel sick, stay home
- Don’t go to school, work, or anywhere else if you’re sick
- Do your best to keep your distance from those you live with if you’re sick (you can check out our blog post on how to keep others safe when you’re sick for more information)
- Maintain physical distancing outside your household
- Refrain from handshakes, hugging, etc.
- Keep your social circles small, with few contacts
- Keep a safe (2 metre) distance
- Consider using non-medical masks when physical distancing isn’t possible
- On transit
A final note:
It’s important to remember that the reopening of some services doesn’t signal a return to ‘normal.’ The Government of BC has made it clear that this is a slow and measured transition that has to include physical distancing and other common-sense measures to reduce the spread of disease, in order to continue to expand restrictions and move the Restart Plan in a positive direction.
Incorporating these guidelines and measures to keep yourself and those around you safe is one way we can all do our part to support this transition.
Did you like this? You might like these posts too!
- Talking to kids about COVID-19
- Masks and COVID-19: what we know right now
- How to keep others safe when you’re sick
- COVID-19: 3 ways to politely tell people to keep their distance
Where do we fit in?
Yes, we are a provincial regulator. We are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation.
About Consumer Protection BC:
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.