Starting from mid May, provinces and territories began re-opening their economies as the virus spread slows down and numbers of confirmed cases remain consistent. We are entering into Summer which helps contains the virus because the virus is weak against high temperature.
British Columbia has officially opened after the Victoria Day long weekend entering second phase of the BC’s Restart Plan after two months of shutdown. Before phase two, restaurants and retail are only allowed to provide curbside pickup, malls closed, and parks closed. People were encouraged to stay home if possible.
What changes in Phase Two? Starting May 19, restaurants, retail, museums, café and pubs, office spaces and childcare facilities may open for businesses. Parks, beaches, and recreational facilities are reopening as well. The couples of items missing from the above list are large event gatherings. It is reasonable to say that we are re-opened and there are plenty of “catching up” to do.
However, there are restrictions. To open for businesses, company must have COVID-19 safety plan in place meeting public health and safety guidelines. From our experience, most businesses are still preparing and planning to re-open their businesses in June.
Holt Renfrew on its first day is limiting the number of visitors inside the mall with long lineups at its entrances. The only retail open at Pacific Center is H&M. All employees onsite have protective mask and sanitizer in the corridors. Some store also requires mandatory sanitizing before entering their space.
We have reached out to number of restaurant and they are planning to allow in-store sitting starting from June. The number of sitting will be reduced to ensure social distancing between customers.
WorkSafeBC has safety guideline businesses must adhere to and will be sending out 300 prevention officers to oversee the enforcement of theses guidelines.
Schools will be officially open on September 1, 2020. Student may voluntarily return to class on June 1st. Class size will be limited to 50% for elementary school and 20% for secondary school, or one day a week. For post secondary, it is at the school’s discretion to continue to offer online classes.
Disease prevention is anxious about the re-opening because social distance and quarantine stopped the virus from spreading. Re-opening would put everyone back at risk, but it is necessary to re-open the economy. The recovery rate of COVID-19 is impressive, and the curve flatten, businesses will face too much burden when the economy continues to halt.
Next two weeks will be critical to see how the virus will do when we “soft open” the economy. We have more testing kits today. If the numbers continued to be controlled, we will see further steps into the re-opening. The next question is when will the borders open?
Our neighbours in the south is not doing too good with their COVID-19 containment and the boarder will be closed until June 21st. It is too early to determine the situation with the United States. We are seeing more cars on the roads of Vancouver and oil pricing rebounding. It is a good start.