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B.C. set to lay out restart road map as COVID-19 cases slow, vaccinations increase

Horgan said plans involve gradual lifting of health restrictions and by July B.C. will be in a better spot
Premier John Horgan arrives to receive a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. British Columbia’s plans to restart the province with the methodical lifting of strict COVID-19 health restrictions are set to be announced today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

A plan to be announced today will start to get life and the economy back to normal in British Columbia with the methodical lifting of COVID-19 health restrictions.

Premier John Horgan said last week the restart will set the course for a future direction as COVID-19 cases decline and more people receive vaccinations, but it will take time to reach the final destination.

The province had been entering Phase 3 of its restart plan when case counts climbed to new highs in March, forcing a stop of indoor dining, adult group fitness and non-essential travel outside health authorities, while health officials also backtracked on allowing in-person religious services.

Horgan said the plans involve the gradual lifting of health restrictions and by July the province will be in a much better place.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the restart plan will take a measured approach as opposed to an immediate, full-scale reopening.

Walt Judas, B.C.’s Tourism Industry Association chief executive officer, says the non-essential travel restrictions were deeply felt by tourism operators who saw fishing, golfing and weekend getaway ventures dry up.

READ MORE: Fewer than 1,000 new COVID cases, 12 deaths over May long weekend in B.C.

The Canadian Press

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