British Columbia has laid out a road map to reopen its economy during the novel coronavirus pandemic, but several industries will remain shuttered for the time being.
The province has set no timeline to reopen casinos, nightclubs or bars, calling it a “complicated consideration.”
When those businesses are cleared to open, the province says industry associations will need to develop plans for safe operation that will meet both public health and safety guidelines and approval of WorkSafeBC.
Last month, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said casinos would be among the last businesses to reopen.
“We know that that type of environment is an enclosed environment, an inside environment,” she said.
“We know that many of the people who frequent that environment are older people or people with underlying illnesses, perhaps people who might be more… vulnerable to having severe illness from COVID-19.”
Large gatherings over 50 people will also remain banned until either a vaccine is developed, enough people in the province become immune to the virus through exposure, or “broad, successful treatments” are developed, according to the plan unveiled Wednesday.
“Groups larger than 50 give the virus an opportunity to re-emerge, and no matter how far apart you are, large gatherings will not be allowed,” said Premier John Horgan.
That includes concerts, parades, festivals, conventions or professional sports with a live audience.
The province says it also won’t reopen to international tourism until widespread immunity or treatment is available.