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BC Moves to Phase Three, State of Emergency Extended

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“Under the guidance of the public health officer, we are now able to move slowly into phase three of our four-phase plan.”

Premier John Horgan made that announcement earlier today.

The third stage of the provincial restart doesn’t mean things are back to pre-pandemic levels, but British Columbians do have the opportunity to travel around the province.

Of course, the restart is contingent on everyone respecting the threat of COVID19 and doing everything they can to bend the curve to keep the transmission rates low.

Horgan said businesses can continue reopening.

“It’s the work of the public health office and WorkSafe BC that has allowed us to develop the guidelines we’ll all need to have a safe reopening of things like hotels, resorts, parks, the film industry, and some entertainment venues like movie theatres,” said Horgan.

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“Many businesses in these sectors have already started opening with safety plans in place. Phase three will also allow more opportunities for us to travel,” Horgan said.

Provincial Health Officer Doctor Bonnie Henry has laid out travel guidelines for anyone travelling to and throughout the province and they 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; and
  • practising good hygiene, including frequent handwashing and cleaning.

Horgan said, “This is not a return to normal, we need to make sure that we maintain the practices in our own community as we travel to other communities.”

“We’ve succeeded in flattening the curve by working together, but COVID19 will continue to be in our province until we have an effective treatment or vaccine. By staying vigilant and following our foundational rules, we can safely do many of the things that we enjoy for the months to come,” said Henry.

Horgan also announced that the provincial state of emergency, the longest in the history of BC, has been extended through July 7.

“We’re extending the provincial state of emergency, while we work to keep the economy moving and provide more opportunities for B.C. businesses to welcome our communities back,” Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said. “We’ve also introduced legislation that will allow us to put longer-term solutions in place, so we can continue to provide the support British Columbians need to get through this crisis.”

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On Monday, the Province introduced the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, legislation allowing for provisions created for citizens and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue, as needed, after the provincial state of emergency ends.

For more information on Phase Three, click here.

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