B.C. retail stores are reopening mid-May. Here’s what they need to do

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The B.C. government revealed details Wednesday about its plan to ease pandemic restrictions and reopen the economy, following a steady decline of new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

The plan includes guidance for retail stores to reopen around mid-May under enhanced protocols.

According to the provincial health officer, retailers need to consider the following measures when they welcome customers back:

  • Install physical Plexiglas barriers between checkouts.
  • Reduce line-ups by keeping a higher number of checkouts open
  • Increase or continue to encourage online shopping, deliveries, and/or pickups to reduce in-store visits.
  • Increase shopping hours to spread out the number of customers in-store at any one time.
  • Encourage or require customers to wear non-medical masks while shopping
  • Create messaging to inform not to shop if they have symptoms
  • Routine screening or questions to check for symptoms
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Along with measures specific to the retail sectors, the province says retailers need to consider core principles such as frequent cleaning of “high-touch” areas and making accommodations for higher-risk groups such as seniors and those with underlying medical conditions.

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Restrictions on large gatherings of more than 50 people do not apply to large box stores,


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