(Files by Catherine Garrett-MyPGNow)
British Columbia has now moved into the next step of the COVID-19 Restart Plan, which includes the return of travel and tourism within the province.
“As we carefully turn up the dial on our activity, we can now look to travel safely around the province. But as we hit the open roads this summer, we must remember we are not leaving COVID-19 behind, and we need to continue to do our part to bend the curve and protect the progress we’ve made,” said Premier John Horgan.
Hotels, resorts, parks, and movie theaters can begin to reopen, and work in the film industry can now pick up, though Provincial Health Officer Doctor Bonnie Henry says there is no waiving of the 14-day quarantine.
Premier Horgan says residents wishing to travel within the province are advised to plan ahead and be respectful while visiting communities, especially smaller and rural towns.
The provincial health officer has laid out travel guidelines for everyone traveling to and within B.C.: including pre-trip planning, research resources, respecting local travel advisories, no traveling when sick, physical distancing, and frequent handwashing and cleaning.
“Like other activities during our COVID-19 pandemic, summer holidays and travel will be different this year,” Premier Horgan said.
“We are asking British Columbians to be respectful of the communities you travel to and do your research before you leave. We will help people get the tools and information they need to navigate this new normal safely.”
COVID-19 will continue to be an issue in the province until an effective treatment or vaccine is found, Doctor Henry added.
The government has also formally extended the provincial state of emergency through the end of the day on July 7.
On Monday the provincial government introduced the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, legislation to allow provisions created for citizens and businesses in response to the pandemic to continue as needed after the provincial state of emergency ends.