Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following the latest update on the COVID-19 response in the province during a press conference from the rose garden at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday June 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. premier eyes Phase Three of COVID-19 restart plan for ‘sometime next week’

This could allow for internal travel restrictions to be lifted, John Horgan says

B.C.’s premier is hoping the province can enter into Phase Three of its COVID-19 restart plan by as early as next week.

Premier John Horgan told reporters during a news conference in Victoria on Wednesday (June 17) that he himself has started looking to book a summer vacation within the province for sometime in the next few months.

“Although the risk of the pandemic has not left us [and] COVID-19 remains in British Columbia and people have to remain vigilant, we are in a place where we can start talking about, what does the future look like?” Horgan said.

The premier said if health officials determine it is safe to enter Phase Three, he hopes that includes a lift on internal travel restrictions to help boost the hurting tourism sector.

“We’re very concerned about our international borders and I’m very grateful that the federal government renewed border restrictions until near the end of July, but when it comes to British Columbians and Canadians travelling this summer in B.C, I’m hopeful that we have record numbers, because we need that.”

As of Thursday (June 18), B.C. had recorded 2,775 cases of the novel coronavirus. A total of 168 people have died from the respiratory illness, while 2,422 have fully recovered.

COVID-19: Here’s a phase-by-phase look at how B.C. hopes to reopen parts of society

B.C. officially entered Phase Two the Monday after May long weekend, allowing for campgrounds to start taking reservations again and restaurants to reopen to dine-in guests, among other restrictions being lifted.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that B.C. won’t move into the next phase until the daily number of new test-positive cases continues to trend downward and maintains at a reasonable low.

Since some restrictions were eased, B.C. has recorded a few minor bumps along the way – particularly as people work to interpret some of the guidelines for physical distancing. In one instance, 15 people who attended the same 30-person gathering tested positive for the novel coronavirus in early June.

A week later, a confirmed case at an unidentified fast-food restaurant was a noted “warning” on how contagious the virus is, Henry said at the time.

B.C. care homes continue to remain the hotspots of concern, with two outbreaks declared this week in the Fraser Health Authority.

Health officials are expected to release new model numbers next week.

Even if B.C. enters the next phase, Henry has repeatedly told British Columbians to prepare for a different summer than ever before – one that involves an indefinite ban on gatherings of more than 50 people and “bigger spaces with fewer faces.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Water fights and food trucks: Kitimat residents celebrate Canada Day with sun and smiles

Celebrations still brought smiles and laughs, even if the day was a little different than usual

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

“A top event in the wildlife of the world”: bird never before recorded in Canada spotted in Kitimat

A bird native to Asia was spotted at Minette Bay recently, bringing in birders from all over B.C.

LNG janitors join UNITE HERE Local 40 Union

The vote was unanimous and the janitors will look to begin contract negotiations going forward.

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

President Donald Trump said the jobs report shows the economy is “roaring back”

Most Read