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Things are starting to get back to “normal” when it comes to recreation facilities in the North Cariboo.

The North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee gave the green light on Tuesday night for a phased reopening of recreation facilities and the gradual resumption of services.

Jeff Norburn is the Director of Community Services…

“Reopen the Arts and Recreation Centre with reduced hours of operation, reopen the gym for drop in use, and offer limited outdoor focused recreation programs and day camps.”

The plan is to reopen the Rec Centre and gym on June 22nd.

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There are still some restrictions however…

“No events or programs that attract participants from out of town or events of more than 50 people would be permitted.”

Norburn also had some advice for properties that are managed by volunteer organizations…

“Basically we’re proposing that they be able to open the facilities based on demand and in accordance with the guidelines and orders of the Provincial Health Officer and Worksafe BC, that they should have a COVID safety plan for the facility.”

Norburn said user groups, like sports organizations, will need to have a return to play plan endorsed by their provincial organizations if they have one.

If not, they will still need a COVID safety plan that they’ve developed before they can use the facility.

Norburn said the guidelines are aligned with BC’s next step plan which is based on a step approach consisting of four phases.

He says these are currently aligned with phase two.

Norburn also hinted however that phase three will be coming soon, which will open up other recreation facilities…

“Things like expanded hours of operation, facility rentals at the Arts and Recreation Centre and arenas, the reopening of the swimming pool, reopen the walking track at the West Fraser Centre, expanded recreation programming and limited aquatic programming.”

Norburn says groups wanting to use the Rec Centre or arenas will also need a return to play plan that is aligned with their sports organization, much the same as sports groups that want to use city parks.

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