VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C. is expected to move into stage three of its restart plan this week, which would would mean the easing of more COVID-related restrictions. As part of stage three, masks in indoor public spaces will be recommended, but no longer mandatory.
A memo sent to TransLink and Transit Police staff on Thursday says employees should not expect all customers to wear a mask, given the public health orders.
“Masks will be recommended while onboard transit vehicles and vessels and at bus stops and platforms until B.C. enters Step 4,” the memo states.
“Employees should expect that not all customers will be wearing masks as of July 1. Pending public health orders, Transit Police will no longer enforce mask-wearing.”
The note adds signs and decals across the transit system will be updated to reflect public health orders, but it may take several weeks for that to be completed.
WorkSafeBC is getting businesses ready for stage three
Al Johnson with WorkSafeBC says the new guidelines would be a road map to transition away from specific COVID safety plans to overall disease prevention.
“Don’t expect that places that have a number of precautions in place right now will just immediately drop all of those. They will transition or wean away — sort of like the dimmer switch, turning on the light, if you will,” he explained.
Johnson says that means workplaces will be able to focus on less-specific precautions and safeguards. However, in stage three, some things will stay the same.
“Continue to encourage your workers to stay home when they’re sick,” he said. “Ensure hand hygiene and washing and cleanliness. Ventilation is important in your workplace and in your building, so ensure that’s being engineered … and maintained as it’s designed [to be].”
He also urges employers to encourage workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Johnson adds businesses need to be flexible and prepared to increase precautions again, if needed in the future.
In stage three of the re-opening plan, B.C. will no longer have restrictions on the number of people who can dine at restaurants together, nightclubs and casinos will be allowed to re-open, and fairs and festivals will be allowed with safety protocols.
July 1 is the earliest B.C. will enter stage 3 of its restart plan. September 7 is the earliest date it will enter stage 4.
With files from Monika Gul and Sonia Aslam