Everything You Need To Know About Phase 3 BC Restart Plan

As British Columbia’s COVID transmission rates and deaths continue to lessen, the government has announced a Restart Plan which outlines how the province will gradually open up while ensuring the number of new cases continues to remain low.

Unlike many other provinces that imposed strict lockdown policies, here in BC a broad range of services deemed ‘essential’, as well as other businesses that were able to operate safely,  were allowed to stay open. Now, as daily new cases are often in the single digits, we are carefully, cautiously re-starting the rest of the economy. We have successfully transitioned through Phases 1 & 2 of the Restart Plan and are currently navigating Phase 3. Click on the sections below to navigate through BC’s Restart Plan:

bc restart plan, covid-19, coronavirus, british columbia, renting, phase 3, phase 4
BC Restart Plan by Phase

Phase 1

Phase 1: Mid-March – Mid-May

Phase 1 began on March 18th when quarantine and social distancing measures were introduced to British Columbians. During this time, only the following businesses and services were permitted to operate as usual while adhering to strict COVID protocols of social distancing and sanitization:

  • Essential health and health services 
  • Law enforcement, public safety, first responders and emergency response personnel
  • Vulnerable population service providers
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Food and agriculture service providers
  • Transportation
  • Industry and amanufacturing
  • Communications and information technology

To help you navigate the rental landscape during the pandemic, check out our COVID-19 Resources here.

Phase 2

Phase 2: Mid-May – Mid-June 

Phase 2 began on May 19th and ended June 23rd and permitted more businesses and services to open under enhanced safety, occupancy, and sanitation protocols. Here are the specific guidlines and protocals for each sector across the province:

SECTOR PHASE 2
Renting & Real Estate • Viewings may be conducted by appointment only.
• Virtual services are preferred and technology may be used for correspondence, drafting written agreements, and obtaining digital signatures.
• The real estate sector must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place based on the protocols set by WorkSafeBC.
Medical • Restoration of health services – re-scheduling of elective surgeries.
• Other medically related services: dentistry, physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractors, physical therapy, speech therapy and others are operational following enhanced health and safety protocols.
Restaurant • Restaurants can open.
• They can operate at 50% capacity so long as patrons can maintain appropriate social distance – if not, capacity could be reduced.
• There is also a maximum capacity of people based on restaurant size.
• The restaurant sector must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place based on the protocols set by WorkSafeBC.
Retail • Other retail can open provided enhanced safety protocols are followed re. capacity and sanitizing.
• Many stores re-opened with reduced hours and revamped layouts to encourage social distancing.
Personal Services •Plexiglass barriers or 2 m of space between workstations to maintain physical distancing
•Requiring appointments or limiting walk-in clients
•Asking clients to attend appointments alone when possible
•Depending on the service, requirement to wear a mask and/or follow other personal sanitation procedures
•Enhanced cleaning protocols for workers, including sanitation of tools, and the preference for single-use items when possible
• Tanning salons will have capacity limits on sunbed rooms and clients must bring their own goggles or use single-use goggles and follow personal sanitation procedures and/or the use of non-medical masks.
Parks & Recreation • Provincial and National Parks only open for day use. Please refer to BC Parks website and Parks Canada.
• At city and provincial parks, maintain 2 m of physical distance from other visitors and park workers. Precautions are taken to limit capacity.
• Handwashing policies and sanitizer products may be in place.
• Washroom facilities open at some parks.
• Beaches are open but no lifeguards on duty.
Fitness • Gyms, yoga studios, and fitness centres can begin reopening following enhanced protocols including assurances that there is 2 m. of space between equipment OR plexiglass barriers.
• Handwashing and disinfecting products should be readily available throughout the facility for hands and equipment.
• Group fitness classes can take place if a 2-meter distance can be maintained between participants.
• Regular cleaning and capacity limits in locker rooms, showers, washrooms, and saunas must be strictly followed.
Travel • US/Canada land border closure extended. For BC’s COVID-19 Travel Updates, check here.
• Travel outside of province is discouraged.
• BC Ferries is operating at reduced capacity. Masks are required.
• Only essential air travel permitted. Masks are required.
• The accommodation industry was not ordered to close by the Provincial Health Officer. Many operators closed voluntarily and are now preparing to welcome guests in Phase 3.
Sports & Entertainment • All sports and entertainment venues remain closed.
• Art Galleries and libraries can open if the facility allows for adequate spacing and sanitation, group visits or guided tours can take place in groups of 50 people or less.

Phase 3 [Current Phase]

Phase 3 – Mid-June – September

As transmission rates remain low and generally in decline, the Provincial Government has shifted to Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan. As part of this phase, more businesses and services will begin carefully re-opening or expanding their operations from Phase 2. Many will be employing new guidelines so customers and patrons are encouraged to reach out to the establishments before venturing out, to review protocols and be fully prepared. (For additional information, visit the BC Government website.)

Most significantly, we have been given the green light by the provincial government to begin travelling throughout B.C. This is particularly welcome news to the province’s tourism sector that will rely almost entirely on domestic travelers this summer as “staycations” are still strongly recommended. 

Learn more about what Phase 3 means for businesses and BC residents:

Phase 3 Re-Opening by Month

Under enhanced COVID protocols – including maintaining social distance and recommended PPE – the government is permitting the following to open between now and September:

JUNE• Renting & Real Estate Moratorium on rent increases and evictions for non-payment of rent remain. However, effective June 19, 2020, landlords are able to enter rental properties with a 24-hour notice.
Hotels and Resorts
Spas
• RV parks

Provincial and National Parks – Broader reopening, including some overnight camping. For up-to-date information on specific park openings please refer to BC Parks website and Parks Canada. BC Residents will be given priority when booking camping sites in our provincial parks.
Film industry – Beginning with domestic productions, the film industry will begin restarting production.
• Vancouver Aquarium is now open but operating at 30% capacity and visitors must reserve tickets online in advance.
• City Spray parks a.k.a water parks will open around the city on June 27th.
JULY Renting & Real Estate – Landlords with existing orders for eviction are permitted to take tenants to court starting July 2, 2020 for enforcement and can enforce a writ order effective immediately.
Select entertainment venues – Movie theatres and symphony concerts are permitted but large concerts continue to be prohibited.
Vancouver’s outdoor pools to open July 13th with new protocols, reduced maximum capacity, and booking required (Kitsilano, New Brighton, Second Beach, Maple Grove pools). Admission to pools will be managed through a combination of an online reservation system and in-person drop-ins, all with contactless electronic payment. Check the City of Vancouver website for updates.
9 city beaches welcome lifeguards back by July 13th (English Bay Beach, Jericho Beach, Kitsilano Beach, Locarno Beach, Spanish Banks East, and West Beaches, Sunset Beach, Third Beach, Trout Lake Beach).
SEPTEMBERK-12 education – with only a partial return this school year
Post-secondary education – with a mix of online and in-class.

Phase 3 Re-Opening by Business Sector

A number of industries that held off opening during Phase 2 have begun to slowly re-open following enhanced health and safety protocols. Below we’ve outlined Phase 3 updates by business sector:

Sector PHASE 3
Renting & Real Estate • Precautions and procedures for viewings still in place
• The Province is maintaining the moratorium on rent increases and evictions for non-payment of rent. However, other notices to end tenancy may resume effectively immediately.
• Landlords with existing orders for eviction are permitted to take tenants to court starting July 2, 2020 for enforcement and can enforce a writ order effective immediately.
• Landlords can enter a rental suite with 24-hour notice and do not need the tenant’s consent. They are expected to follow health guidelines like physical distancing, cleaning, and wearing masks when appropriate.
Medical No changes from Phase 2
Restaurant • The City of Vancouver has fast-tracked the approval of patio applications to provide more outdoor dining options. This will expand customer capacity for some establishments.
Retail • Extended hours of operation
Personal Services No changes from Phase 2
Parks & Recreation • Vancouver’s outdoor pools to open July 13th with new protocols, reduced maximum capacity, and booking required (Kitsilano, New Brighton, Second Beach, Maple Grove pools). Admission to pools will be managed through a combination of an online reservation system and in-person drop-ins, all with contactless electronic payment. Check the City of Vancouver website for updates.
• 9 city beaches welcome lifeguards back by July 13th (English Bay Beach, Jericho Beach, Kitsilano Beach, Locarno Beach, Spanish Banks East, and West Beaches, Sunset Beach, Third Beach, Trout Lake Beach).
• The 2020 season booking window for BC Parks Overnight Camping has been reduced to two months in advance of the arrival date, on a rolling window.
Fitness No changes from Phase 2
Travel • US/Canada land border closure has been extended to July 21, 2020
• BC residents permitted to travel within the province.
• Avoid travel outside of the province.
• Hotels, lodges, hostels and other accommodation are preparing to welcome guests in Phase 3.
• Layouts may be rearranged to encourage social distancing while on-site pools, hot tubs, gym facilities, and play areas may have restricted capacity/hours and will be required to follow sanitization protocols.
Sports & Entertainment • Movie theatres and symphony concerts are permitted to open but large concerts continue to be prohibited.
Film Industry • Beginning with domestic productions, the film industry can restart following enhanced safety protocols.

>> RECOMMENDED READING: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Canada – Support For Landlords.

Phase 4

Phase 4: TBD

Details, including dates, for Phase 4 have not yet been determined. However, what is certain is that our province will only move to this Phase once one of the following conditions are met:

  • Widespread vaccination against COVID-19
  • “Community” immunity
  • Broad successful treatments and therapy

Only once Phase 4 is announced can we hope to host conventions, attend live sporting events and concerts, and welcome international tourism back to our province.

Until then, and above all, we will proceed with caution, as a nation, as a province and as individuals. The battle is not over but we are grateful we are inching closer to normalcy.

Check out our other resoruces for renters, property managers and landlords in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic:

Download FREE Rent Repayment Template Here


In compliance with guidelines from the Provincial Health Officer, it is important to develop measures that will reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Consider new ways to rent and rent out your property with liv.rent’s digital tools – video tours, digital contracts, secure cloud storage to secure rental information, safely.

You May Also Like

Best Travel Destinations near Vancouver

Immigrating to Canada during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Renting During COVID-19: A Renter’s Journey

Renting During COVID-19: Finding a Roommate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *