B.C. enters step one of a four step restart plan

The province has outlined its restart plan a course to get B.C. back to normal by September 2021

The province has outlined its restart plan a course to get B.C. back to normal by September 2021

Safety protocols for indoor in-person religious gatherings and worship services of any size are being reviewed and will be updated shortly.

Premier John Horgan arrives to receive a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty's Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021.

The B.C. government has relaxed several of the tough COVID-19 rules that residents have been living under - and laid out a rough timeline for returning to a "more normal life" over the coming months.

The launch of the restart program Tuesday began with the relaxing of some restrictions on gatherings, sports events and dining, both indoors and outdoors.

- Indoor and outdoor dining is allowed for up to six people with safety protocols.

Premier John Horgan said B.C.'s strong immunization rate allows the province to slowly bring people back together, with September 7 a target date for the final phase of the plan to be implemented. Establishments must continue to follow their existing WorkSafeBC safety plans, and stop serving liquor at 10 p.m.

Outdoor recreational sports are now back on for adults and kids as well as low-intensity indoor fitness classes.

- Spectators for outdoor sports would be permitted with a 50-person maximum.

Masks will still be mandatory for indoor public spaces, continued physical distancing, and stay home and get tested if feeling sick.

Approximate dates have also been provided for when the province will move to the next steps, although health officials stress that the plan "will be guided by data, not dates". There would also be a "return to normal" for indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Moving into July, BC is "optimistic" that casinos, bingo halls and nightclubs will be able to open at a limited capacity.

"As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will be closely following the guidance of public health and supporting people and businesses as we take the next steps in putting this pandemic behind us".

A spokesman for an organization representing Canada's largest airlines said in a statement B.C.'s plan gives clarity to the industry and consumers.

The provincial government is targeting a return to practices and games for indoor team sports of all ages in mid-June.

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