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B.C should expect some COVID-19 restrictions to stick around past summer: Dix

Last Updated Mar 10, 2021 at 6:05 am PDT

Summary

B.C.'s Health Minister is clearing up some confusion about when all pandemic-related restrictions could be lifted

Adrian Dix says even if everyone gets a shot by July, some restrictions will remain at least through fall

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Being immunized against COVID-19 by Canada Day doesn’t mean you’ll be free to leave the country or attend a music festival.

B.C.’s Health Minister is clearing up some confusion about when all pandemic-related restrictions could be lifted.

Adrian Dix says having more vaccine readily available only means the timeline for getting your first dose moves up.

“We adapt. A month ago, that was bad news because we received less vaccine than we expected. Now it’s good we’re getting more.”

Dix explains, even if everyone gets their first dose of vaccine before July 1, some restrictions could still be in place well into autumn.

“Things will be better in the summer, but for right now, we absolutely need to follow the rules. All of us.”

That warning came when Dix was asked how soon events like Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition, the Celebration of Light, and concerts might start up again.

“We’ll continue to have to deal with COVID-19 into the fall. There’ll be more activity this summer. More ability to go around BC than there has been up to now.”

However, the cruise ship industry is still on hold until next year.

“The announcement to defer the cruise season to February 2022 was made by Transport Canada, We will continue to look to the direction of Transport Canada for the resumption of cruising across Canada, when it is safe to do so,” says a statement from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

Dix says “If people have plans to travel internationally, It’s not this summer still. It’s not this summer.”

Destination BC’s Maya Lange says that’s all the more reason to be a tourist in your own province.

“We are expecting to have a good summer. Campaigns are ready. We’re just looking for that go moment.”

She says the industry, which employs 166-thousand people, is worth more than 21-billion dollars a year (based on stats from 2019) and it has been hit hardest by this pandemic.

“It’s crucial for us to be able to get back up and get out and have British Columbians travelling around BC and we also look forward to hosting international travellers again, as well, but we do think that international travel probably will not resume until October at the earliest.”

Lange adds the summer months are important because they generate half of annual tourism revenues.