Premier John Horgan addressed residents of British Columbia about the COVID-19 pandemic early Wednesday afternoon.
Horgan states that the Province is now able to move into Phase 3 of its four phase COVID-19 restart plan. He adds that TransLink weekly ridership is more than double what it was at the COVID-19 low point on April 5, that children have gone back to school, and that a number of people have been out to enjoy parks and interact with one another.
"To all British Columbians, as we start Phase 3, congratulations," says Premier John Horgan. "I'm so proud of what we've been able to do as a community, to lead Canada quite frankly."
Horgan emphasizes a gradual transition to Phase 3, including the safe and respectful return of travel and tourism within the province.
“Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of British Columbians, and under the guidance of the provincial health officer, we are now entering Phase 3 of our four-phase restart plan,” says Horgan. “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.”
Horgan adds that most of the businesses listed in Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan now have the guidance they need to safely begin to open. WorkSafeBC, public health officials and industry representatives have developed guidelines for hotels and resorts, parks, the film industry and select entertainment, like movie theatres, and businesses in these sectors have already begun to open with COVID-19 safety plans in place.
“Like other activities during our COVID-19 pandemic, summer holidays and travel will be different this year,” says Horgan. “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.
"And always be kind, be calm, and be safe."
Bonnie Henry underscores that COVID-19 will continue to be in our lives until there is a vaccine. As such, British Columbians should keep their circles small and maintain safe social interactions.
British Columbians who wish to travel within B.C. this summer 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 travelling to and within B.C.:
- pre-trip planning and research on available resources at arriving destination;
- respecting any local travel advisories to isolated and remote communities;
- no travelling for anyone who is sick, and if symptoms develop while travelling – self isolate immediately and contact 811 for guidance and testing;
- practising safe physical distancing of two metres at all times;
- spending time in small groups and open spaces; and
- practising good hygiene, including frequent handwashing and cleaning.
On Monday, June 22, the Province introduced the COVID-19 Related Measures Act: legislation to allow provisions created for citizens and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue as needed after the provincial state of emergency ends.