Pubs and restaurants in B.C. are among the businesses looking for ways to reopen full customer service. (Responsible Service B.C.)

COVID-19: Is B.C. reopening too soon? Lessons from Germany, Korea

B.C. restart includes park day use, pubs and restaurants

Quebec, with the worst record of containing COVID-19 in Canada, is reopening schools. Korea, an early international success story in pandemic control, has lived to regret keeping night clubs open.

The B.C. plan to restart the economy is slower than that, more like Germany, which also unveiled its reopening strategy in early May with restaurants set to restart. Like Korea, Germany employed widespread testing for the novel coronavirus, and has seen an uptick in cases in recent days.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says public health officials are watching Germany closely.

“There has been a slight increase,” Henry said at her daily briefing May 11. “It’s a little bit hard to know exactly why in Germany, but we’re watching that very carefully. We’re looking at a number of other countries, like New Zealand, Norway, some of the Scandinavian countries that have also taken very similar measures, and we’re watching what’s happening, of course, across North America, but particularly in Quebec and Ontario, in Saskatchewan and other places where they’re making similar changes like we are.”

Pubs and night clubs were shut down in mid-March as B.C. responded to cases trickling in from overseas. Korea kept them open, and has seen a surge in new cases since the weekend that has been traced to exposure in clubs.

Beginning in mid-May, B.C.’s “phase two” starts with reopening most provincial parks for day use, rescheduling postponed surgeries, allowing dentistry, physiotherapy and other health treatments with additional protective equipment, and restarting office-based worksites, including the B.C. legislature by June.

Key business re-openings are retail, hair salons, restaurants and pubs, maintaining the physical distance rules that have kept B.C.’s COVID-19 cases in decline in recent weeks. Local governments are looking to open up streets for additional outside seating.

RELATED: Restaurants want to expand into public spaces to reopen

RELATED: A phase-by-phase look at B.C.’s COVID-19 reopening plan

Henry has stressed that just because businesses are allowed to reopen doesn’t mean they will, or should depending on their layout and staff requirements. Restaurants and other industry groups are finalizing their guidelines, and each will have to publicly post its pandemic safety plan when the owners and managers believe they are ready to go.

“A steady stream will be far more successful than a rushing river that can damage things in its path,” Henry said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alert Bay resident carves tribute to his community kicking COVID-19’s butt

‘Our little village crushed the curve with love and commitment’

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Port Hardy called in record number of black bear sightings last year

Conservation Officers attended 74 of the 314 calls made

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Ruined picnic tables are the main damage

Port McNeill’s outdoor swimming pool will stay closed this summer

The Town of Port McNeill typically hires 12-13 staff for the pool every year.

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read