British Columbia’s casinos and nightclubs have been given the green light to reopen on July 1, when the province officially enters Step 3 of its restart plan.
On Tuesday afternoon, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Premier John Horgan outlined the limits on capacity and what activities are allowed in the two industries.
Nightclubs will not allow dancing during Step 3, however tables of up to ten people will be permitted. According to health officials, people are not allowed to mix and mingle between tables, which is also the current in restaurants.
Restaurants, bars, and pubs, on the other hand, have been given permission to increase table restrictions based on the size of the building, and normal liquor service hours have been restarted.
Casinos are also allowed to reopen in B.C, but with a lower maximum capacity. According to the province, only 50% of gaming stations can be open at one time.
However, any reopening announcement is good news for the casino industry, which has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Casinos have been closed for nearly 16 months in B.C., since March 16, 2020.
The BC Lottery Corporation now says it is looking forward to welcoming guests back into its casinos, and that safety is a priority.
Lynda Cavanaugh, interim president and CEO of the BCLC said in a release Tuesday that “As gambling facilities across B.C. prepare to welcome guests back on July 1, the health and safety of our players, employees and communities are our top priority.”
She added that “Together with our casino service providers and thousands of industry employees, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to provide an exceptional entertainment experience for our players when they’re ready to return.”
Here’s a look at Step 3 of B.C.’s reopening plan, which includes which restrictions will be lifted starting Thursday.