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

Summerland once had Old English theme

Design guidelines were introduced in late 1980s

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Crews repair damaged lakefront walkway in Summerland

Flooding in 2017 and 2018 took toll on popular walking path

COVID-19: Keremeos legion reopening with reduced hours

Legion’s treasurer encourages locals to continue their longstanding support during the pandemic

COVID-19 ‘not a death sentence’ says Penticton woman after seeing senior mother recover

Cancer, blindness, a fractured hip, dementia, and COVID-19 not enough to bring Betty Jukes down

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Water quality advisory rescinded for Central Okanagan system

Turbidity levels improve enough to rescind advisory issued for Killiney Beach system May 11

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

UPDATE: Two sent to hospital following Okanagan highway accident

Drivers in head-on collision air-lifted to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries

Most Read