Tips for Vancouverites to stay safe during the pandemic
Updated: Aug 14
Things are opening up, and as they do, the risk in Vancouver continues to rise.
It has been a challenging time these past few months trying to navigate a pandemic; these are unprecedented times and we're all learning as we go.
The province of British Columbia has been an example in flattening the curve, as of late however, numbers have been rising due to more and more social interaction and contact. More and more people are looking for things to do, which includes social gatherings in homes, parks, etc.
To be able to stay safe while going out, taking transit to your next destination, meeting with friends and loved ones, we've curated a list of precautions and things to know so you can live life in this new normal.
With the TransLink system as Vancouver's main form of transit, they've implemented a number of policies to ensure the safety of their passengers.
Starting on Monday, August 24th, customers and passengers will be required to wear non-medical face coverings and masks while on-board.
For those with conditions and underlying disabilities, TransLink has implemented a contingency plan for these customers to receive branded cards to note their exemption from wearing a mask.
More information on TransLink policies can be found here.
BRING OR PURCHASE ESSENTIAL ITEMS WHEN GOING OUT
It's important to be prepared, no matter where you're going and how well a place or businesses is following regulations and guidelines.
When going out, we strongly suggest purchasing these items and keeping it with you at all times:
An extra face mask
A small bag to throw away garbage
Why these items are important is to limit the amount of contact from your hand to your face, to doors, opening garbage cans, and to sanitize if some of these situations are unavoidable.
CLEAN AND WIPE DOWN YOUR DEBIT AND CREDIT CARDS
While most places and businesses take tap, some customers are still physically tapping their cards on the pay machine.
Tip one, more often than not, you can hover your card above the tap location of the pay machine. This is one way to avoid having any third-party contact.
Tip two, if purchases cost more than $50 or $100, you will likely be required to insert your card into the slot, and manually enter your pin, meaning contact with the pay machine. Now, most places are sanitizing their machines immediately after each customer's use, however sanitizer and wet wipes aren't 100% effective.
So, bring gloves or prep a pair of wipes to press the buttons with when making your purchase.
Finally, after each purchase made when using your cards, most especially when you slot your cards into the bank machines and ATM's, wipe them down WELL using wipes or non-toxic cleaning solutions.
RESEARCH IF A RESTAURANT TAKES RESERVATIONS
There's nothing worse than waiting outside in a lineup despite the social distancing measures in place.
Rather than waiting outside around people, see if the restaurant takes reservations. Note: there are TONS of restaurants in the city that are reservation ONLY, too. So, before making a long trip down, give them a call, reserve a time, get in, and voila, you've done your part to limit human interaction right off the bat!
AVOID LARGE RESTAURANT PARTIES
Just because restaurants are open doesn't mean it's a safer option for you, your friends, or your family to go to rather than at home.
While restaurants are now allowed to have over 50% of their capacity, they still hold limits as to how many patrons they can serve at a time. Some restaurants that we've visited have limited capacity per table to as much as six. So, before going out, choose wisely who you are going out with, and what you are doing.
We strongly recommend against bringing more than four of five people to a restaurant; keep the groups and numbers to a minimum for the meantime. This just means more hangouts with all of your friends and loved ones throughout the week. Not a bad idea!
AVOID USING YOUR FEET
When opening doors, please avoid pushing door handles or accessibility buttons with your feet. For those who have physical conditions that are unable to open doors as you would, be considerate of their conditions and use your elbow, put on a pair of gloves, or go back first into the door/entrance.
For example, someone in a wheelchair has no choice but to use the automatic buttons to open doors; with someone kicking the button, they've removed any precautions that those with mobility aids have done to reduce their risk.