Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that the next phase of lifting restrictions may not begin this week, despite it being two incubation periods since the last phase was introduced.
Henry said that “maybe” restrictions could lift further this week, but it’s “not a yes.”
“I said at the very beginning that the whole phase thing is more of a dimmer switch,” she said. “It’s not … hard and fast.”
On May 18, Phase 2 of the B.C. restart plan was introduced that allowed personal services like hair salons to reopen, and pubs and restaurants to serve guests inside.
Since then, schools have partly reopened, museums and art galleries are set to reopen, the film industry restarted and strict seating numbers loosened in pubs and restaurants.
When the restart plan was announced in mid-March, Phase 3 was loosely scheduled for the middle of June — after two COVID-19 incubation periods.
Henry said that while B.C. was faring well in its fight with the disease — with no deaths reported between noon Friday and noon Monday — other parts of the world were not.
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“We have been looking at the numbers, as we’ve said, and so the second incubation period comes up very soon,” she said. “Those are the transitions. It’s not going to be a full-on, full-off. It’s, as we said, the dimmer switch. Yes, we’ll be looking at transitioning, around travel, around safe travel within B.C. and, certainly, that’s what we’ve been saying for this summer.”
There have been 36 new cases of COVID-19 reported in B.C. over the last three days. Henry said there were 182 active cases of the disease, with 13 cases in hospital, including four in intensive care.
Those numbers continue to fall.