How are you feeling about the possibility of B.C. moving into Step 3 this week?
Many British Columbians are eager to travel and meet up with loved ones this summer — but not everyone is ready to leave their face masks at home.
On Tuesday (June 29), Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan will announce whether the province is ready to move into Step 3 of the four-step restart plan.
People may enjoy a "return to usual for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings" rather than the cap of five people or one other household. There will also be increased capacity at both indoor and outdoor organized gatherings and there will be no group limit for indoor and outdoor dining, just to name a few of the eased restrictions.
But one of the most controversial new changes is that face masks will not be required in indoor settings.
Of course, health officials still recommend people wear masks in public indoor settings, particularly if they are unvaccinated. But not unlike the travel advisory against provincial recreational travel, not everyone followed it until there was an official rule.
"Masks are no longer that last line of defence that you need."
When asked about the proposed new guidance on masks in indoor settings, Henry stated in the daily coronavirus briefing on June 28 that it should incentivize people who aren't fully vaccinated to roll up their sleeves.
"We're at the point where risk in our community is changing dramatically — and particularly for people who are immunized," she said. "And so it is in many ways an incentive for people who have been immunized, have received two doses of vaccine, that masks are no longer that last line of defence that you need."
Henry added that B.C. is "at the point where I believe it's important that we take away orders as soon as we can. And that we take what we call the least restrictive means, and so we will be moving to guidance again around where it is important for where are the conditions that it's important for people to continue to wear masks to have all of those layers of protection."
While many fully vaccinated people are relieved to hear that they don't have to don a mask during the summer season, others worry that the relaxed rules could increase the number of new daily COVID-19 cases.
Have a look at what some Metro Vancouverites are saying on social media about the proposed new guidance on masks.
No masks !!!!!!!!!!
— Fierro Diana Maria
Taking a deep breath on a crowded bus
— Alex Pappajohn
No masks pls! Especially in this weather!
— Shahnaz Daneshp
Let’s ditch the masks unless you are coughing or sneezing but keep the distance. My skin is so painful from the zits.
— Ashley Cole
Not being forced to wear a mask, if you’re not feeling well, or are more comfortable wearing one then you should still wear one though.
— Jennifer Pommer
No masks while working out.
— Anne Hurwitz
I will always keep one with me, and if I'm in a place, or transit, that is really crowded, shoulder to shoulder, I will put it on, otherwise I'll make a decision based on my surroundings..— Robyn..Bcbirdie🇨🇦 (@Bcbirdie2) June 29, 2021
Considering my business and many others are relying on us getting to step-4 in September to open up, it would be nice if they kept the mask mandate until more people are fully vaxxed so we don’t risk going backwards and screwing up our chance at generating revenue again.— Darcy Hope (@TheFarquaad) June 29, 2021
Wear your mask. The new variant Delta Plus is causing a lot of trouble here in the UK. The mask protects.— Dana Lewis (@Danaslewis) June 29, 2021
Yes.— Vera (she/her) (@vera_tenacious) June 29, 2021
* I only have one dose
* fully vaccinated people can still carry+spread
* kids & immunocompromised still vulnerable
* even mild infections can result in long term disability
* many workers not yet twice vaxd but cannot afford not to work
* learning re: variants
* MASK UP!
Yes! Should be mandatory indoor public places. Not enough vax yet. Some areas of the prov. not even 60% for 1st dose. People coming from all over into BC. We don't know who is vax or not. Concern for public workers/children too. BC NOT watching the world.— Jo-Anne (@Jo10030676) June 29, 2021
It’s not a matter of comfort. It’s a matter of science and the willingness to think of others. I will wear mine for as long as it takes for the majority of the population to be fully vaccinated.— Mamma Bear (@islgalwrites) June 29, 2021