B.C. Premier John Horgan set to announce slow reopening of economy in pandemic

FILE PHOTO - Premier John Horgan announces the B.C. government has extended the provincial state of emergency in order to support the COVID-19 pandemic response in Victoria, April 15, 2020.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.

VICTORIA - British Columbia is expected to announce plans today for a gradual reopening of services, but the provincial health officer warns people should stay in their social "bubble" to prevent a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Earlier this week, Dr. Bonnie Henry said Premier John Horgan will release details of the plan today, which will be aimed at relaxing restrictions to safely increase social and economic contacts.

Henry has said the announcement will include measures for summer sports teams, the retail sector and hair salons, but she wants gatherings to remain small and preferably outdoors.

Henry released data this week showing physical distancing measures that closed schools, restaurants and bars in mid-March helped to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Henry also suggested some measures used in grocery stores could be implemented at other retail outlets and restaurants, and may include limiting the number of people allowed in as well as plastic shields separating workers from customers.

Unlike some other provinces, B.C. did not close several sectors of the economy, allowing garden centres and construction sites to continue operating.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2020.


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