The Government of BC outlined its four-phase plan to re-open the province for business, and re-start the economy, in a safe and progressive manner. We are currently in Phase 1, the plan can be viewed here or read the official press release for an outline. And, everyone can download a comprehensive PDF.
Phase 2, which will begin mid-May assuming we all do our part to continue to #flattenthecurve, includes:
- small social gatherings;
- a resumption of elective surgeries and regulated health services like physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropractors and in-person counselling, with some of those details announced;
- opening of some provincial parks;
- opening more non-essential businesses in keeping with safe operations plans;
- recalling the provincial legislature for regular sittings.
Phase 3, which will include opening up of additional businesses and services, is planned for between June and September 2020 with specific guidelines in place for different sectors, which include the health directives and orders already in place. If transmission rates remain low or in decline, under enhanced protocols, these businesses and areas can begin to re-open:
- hotels and resorts (June 2020);
- broader reopening of parks, including some overnight camping (June 2020);
- film industry – beginning with domestic productions (June/July 2020);
- select entertainment – movies and symphony, but no large concerts (July 2020);
- post-secondary education – with a mix of online and in-class instruction (September 2020);
- K-12 education – with only a partial return this school year (September 2020).
Some health and safety guidelines are listed below, however it will be critical to review information from WorkSafe BC as you plan to bring your business back to full or partial operations. Recently updated sector guidance includes:
Small Business BC has a number of resources available to provide insight, and BC Food and Beverage has a helpful webinar coming up on May 14. As we are all anxious to get back to business, it’s important to remember that these four stages will only be successful and come to fruition if we all continue to do our part — practice social distancing, stay home if we are feeling sick, and wash our hands.
For businesses, now is the time to work on a re-opening plan that includes:
- how your workplace is organized and arranged;
- what specific activities are carried out;
- how you clean and sanitize;.
- and how changes and precautions will be communicated to everyone at the workplace.
NEXT UPDATE, THURSDAY, MAY 14