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Phase 3 of B.C.'s 'restart' plan still weeks away: Horgan

Any thoughts of removing additional COVID-19 restrictions in B.C. are still at least three weeks away
Premier John Horgan addresses the public and media on May 27, 2020. Photo: Province of British Columbia/Flickr

By Nicholas Johansen

British Columbia is now in the second week of its Phase 2 of reopening businesses, but any thoughts of removing additional COVID-19 restrictions are still at least three weeks away.

During Wednesday's weekly press conference, Premier John Horgan said he doesn't expect a Phase 3 reopening of B.C. businesses until at least the middle of June.

"We'll see how it goes, but we don't expect to be having any detailed discussions about that until at least the middle of June,” he said.

In the province's reopening plan put forward earlier this month, Phase 3 would involve the restarting of film and TV production, and the reopening of movie theatres, spas and non-medical massages, along with additional parks reopening.

The timing of such a plan will no doubt depend on the number of new COVID-19 cases B.C. sees in the coming weeks.

Horgan also said he doesn't expect the Canada-U.S. border to reopen to non-essential travel any time soon, but he'd like to encourage British Columbians to travel within their own province once it's recommended by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“Going to the Interior and enjoying cherry season is something I would very much like to do. There's a whole bunch of things that we can do right here in British Columbia,” Horgan said.

“42,000 people booked campsites on Monday, so there's a lot of British Columbians who have things to do in B.C. that can stimulate our tourism economy. And I think that's where I'd like to focus, is on encouraging people to get out and see something, hopefully in your neighbourhood, but if you want to travel further afield as the situation changes over the summer, I think that's good for everybody.

"It's good for the tourism economy and it's good for British Columbians to recognize that there's no bad place in B.C.”

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