With the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the decline and more than 75% of adults in BC having now received their first dose of the vaccine, the province will move to Step 2 of its restart plan on June 15, as planned. This is welcome news to everyone in the tourism industry, as the ban on non-essential travel within the province will be lifted as part of this next step.
Some of the additional changes that will impact tourism and hospitality include:
- Venues like movie theatres, banquet halls, and performance theatres can now welcome up to 50 people for a seated gathering (with safety plans in place).
- While organized outdoor gatherings still have a 50-person maximum, they no longer have to be seated events.
- Restaurants, bars, and pubs can now offer liquor service until midnight.
- Outdoor sports can have up to 50 spectators while indoor sports (without spectators) and high-intensity fitness classes can resume (with safety plans in place).
“Our step-by-step reopening plan is giving British Columbians what they have been waiting for. The best way we can show our love for B.C. is to get out and eat, stay, shop and play,” said Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport, Melanie Mark. “Whether it’s watching your kids play sports outside, going to the theatre or travelling to new and exciting destinations across the province, we can finally get out and support people, jobs and our economy.”
Now that British Columbians can once again travel recreationally around the province, we will expand our destination marketing activities beyond our region, inviting those in BC to visit Kelowna as we get ready to officially welcome summer. While recreational travel to BC from outside the province is set to resume July 1, we know that Kelowna is a popular summer destination and so our marketing efforts will be aimed at extending the increase in visitation into the fall and winter.
Provincial officials have been meeting with various sector associations to discuss the lifting of public health orders and new health and safety guidelines that will be put in place for businesses before Step 3 kicks off on July 1. We will update our COVID-19 page with all pertinent information as it becomes available.
The full press release regarding the start of Step 2 can be found on the Government of BC website. Helpful resources are also available on Destination BC's website: