Third step of BC Restart Plan announced

- University of Victoria

BC is moving to Step 3 of its four-step Restart plan on July 1. Nearly 80% of British Columbians have received dose 1 of the COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 case counts continue to decline. On Vancouver Island, the rolling 7-day average number of cases has fallen by over 95% since early April.

During Step 3, business and universities are expected to gradually transition from COVID-19-specific safety plans to a new communicable disease plan. Guidelines for this plan, which were developed in consultation with public health authorities and businesses, were released by WorkSafeBC on June 28.

Occupational Health, Safety and Environment (OHSE) will be developing transitional guidance for July and August, which will include:

  • developing a campus-wide UVic communicable disease plan
  • instructions on the timing for units and researchers to archive existing Safe Work Plans (SWPs)
  • steps to gradually and safely wind down COVID restrictions (e.g. occupancy limits, directional signage and related measures).

We expect to have this guidance available within the next two weeks.

General health and safety measures

Until OHSE has published the transitional health and safety guidance, please continue to observe and maintain all safety measures currently in place and in your SWP, except as modified below:

  • A daily health self-assessment continues to be required, including not attending campus when ill. Beginning July 1, the daily health check confirmation for employees will no longer be required.
  • The mandatory mask order will be lifted on July 1 and replaced with new mask wearing guidance from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). Effective July 1, and in accordance with the PHO’s direction, the university recommends that anyone over the age of 12 who is not fully vaccinated wear a mask in indoor public/common spaces; in-person learning facilities including classrooms and lecture halls, teaching and computing labs, art studios, music or theatre facilities; study spaces; research labs and facilities; and workplaces. Someone is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after dose 2. Consistent with public policy direction, the university will not be asking for proof of vaccination. Some people may make the personal choice to continue to wear a mask after they're fully vaccinated.  The university will update signage soon to reflect this new guidance.
  • For units, staff and faculty, continue to follow the UVic Return to Campus Guidance in planning for a safe and gradual return to campus during July and August. Units may conduct larger in-person meetings as part of their return to campus following their office safe work plans, while still maintaining virtual meetings for staff/faculty meetings where appropriate.

Impacts on university services

Athletics and recreation

  • Indoor spectators allowed with 50 people or 50% capacity, whichever is greater.
  • Outdoor spectators allowed with 5,000 people or 50% capacity, whichever is greater.
  • Sporting events with spectators will still require appropriate safety measures to be in place.  for advice.
  • Indoor fitness classes and gyms/recreational facilities may begin to operate at usual capacities with appropriate safety measures in place. Athletics and Recreation is reviewing the updated guidelines with OHSE and will be developing plans to expand services in CARSA. Please visit VikesRec for the most up-to-date information on all their services and facilities.

Indoor/outdoor gatherings and events

  • Indoor organized gatherings allowed with 50 people or 50% capacity, whichever is greater
  • Outdoor organized gatherings allowed with 5,000 people or 50% capacity, whichever is greater
  • Faculty and staff: contact to book outdoor space.
  • All events will continue to require appropriate safety measures. for advice.
  • These gathering criteria do not apply to UVic meetings and educational activities occurring in classrooms, in-person learning facilities and research facilities. Continue to follow the safe work plans for those areas including occupancy limits and other safety protocols.

Food on campus

  • No group limits for indoor or outdoor dining. Food services facilities on campus should continue to follow the appropriate safety measures of the PHO and restaurant sector during the summer transition period.

Food Services locations and hours


Next steps

In the coming days, we expect to receive the ministry’s COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines. The guidelines will provide updated public health guidance to support the full return to in-person education, research and on-campus services for BC’s post-secondary institutions, with a focus on preparing for Step 4 of the BC Restart Plan. The guidelines are the successor document to the Go-Forward Guidelines for the BC post-secondary sector and have been developed by a team of post-secondary experts as well as representatives from the PHO, regional health authorities and the BC Centre for Disease Control. We expect this document to provide the sector-specific guidance needed to develop our campus-wide communicable disease plan.

We will continue to monitor and be responsive during this summer transition period to the most current health and safety measures required by the PHO, WorkSafeBC and the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines. 

As we look towards welcoming everyone back to campus this fall we will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about each stage of the restart plan and its impacts on our campus.

More information