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B.C.'s COVID-19 reopening plan hangs on increased immunity, decreased transmission

Last Updated May 13, 2021 at 8:51 pm PDT

FILE - Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (Courtesy Government of B.C., Flickr)

More details of B.C.'s reopening plan will be available next week

Small, incremental easing of restrictions will start after the May long weekend

By July long weekend, Henry believes we may be able to gather in small groups

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C. won’t start easing restrictions until after the May long weekend, and even then change will be gradual.

With more details about “Restart 2.0” likely to come next week, Henry says increased immunity, along with decreasing transmission rates will be key to B.C.’s reopening plan.

“Start thinking about making plans … after that period of time, and then we’ll be going back to the same approach that we took last May, aware we started gradually increasing our activities based on risk,” she says.

However, Henry says by the time we get to the July long weekend, we may be able to gather in small groups.

“We should be able to do even more in terms of having small gatherings in terms of having those events that are so important.”

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By this coming weekend, all adults aged 18 and above in B.C. will be eligible to book their COVID-19 vaccination. As more people are vaccinated, there will be less overall risk. However Henry says vaccine protection from COVID-19 isn’t 100 per cent, and the province will continue to monitor for transmission flare-ups.

Henry says that the province is continually looking to other jurisdictions to determine how and when the province can reopen.

“This virus has taught us that we cannot be complacent. I’m watching very carefully what’s happening in the U.K. and I think that’s a very good example for people to think about, slowly, gradually, reopening.”