Premier John Horgan says this is not a return to normal, it is a new normal.
“We need to brace to protect each other,” he said this afternoon addressing British Columbia's re-opening plan.
“This includes rural communities that do not know what this virus will do to them, he noted, predicting a two to four week phase-in of four stages, speaking to areas of action – personal care, social interaction and economic activity.
“We are already at phase one,” said Horgan.
“In the weeks ahead we will move to phase two," he said, with no actual calendar date noted.
Principals include hygiene, staying at home, environmental hygiene, as well as safe social interactions.
“We can’t just say businesses are open and let’s come and spend.”
Phase two will see small gatherings, elective surgeries, dentistry, as well as BC Parks open for day-use only.
“Restrictions on groups larger than 50 are here to stay.”
Horgan said to be mindful of heading out still.
“This is not the time for a trip or a holiday - stay close to home.”
Horgan said the people of British Columbia have responded, and businesses have retooled in the face of the virus.
“It will not be the flipping of a switch,” he said about making sure all four corners of the province were on board.
“We need to ensure that people stay healthy and we need to get it right,” he concluded noting a detailed plan would be presented.
Phase three will depend on BC’s overall response, noted Horgan.
“If we are doing well, we will open more businesses under enhanced program.
Horgan noted phase four will not be put in place until a treatment of vaccine.
‘It is about time,” said one grocery shopper this afternoon at a jam-packed store in Dawson Creek.