After Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provided an update on COVID-19 modelling on Tuesday, BC Premier John Horgan announced on Wednesday that the province is set to begin Phase 3 of its four-phase reopening plan.
“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,” said Horgan. “As we carefully turn up the dial on our activity, we can now look to travel safely around the province.”
That being said though, “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.”
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British Columbians planning to travel are also being advised to plan ahead and be respectful while visiting communities, especially smaller and rural towns.
“Like other activities during our COVID-19 pandemic, summer holidays and travel will be different this year,” said 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.
As such, health officials have issued travel guidelines for everyone travelling to and within BC, which include:
- 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;
- Practising good hygiene, including frequent handwashing and cleaning.
“We’ve succeeded in flattening the curve by working together, but COVID-19 will continue to be in our province until we have an effective treatment or vaccine,” said Henry. “By staying vigilant and following our foundational rules, we can safely do many of the things that we enjoy for the months to come.”