Premier John Horgan announced earlier today that BC is moving into Phase 3 of its restart plan, after increasing activity without seeing a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Phase 3 of BC’s restart plan also means residents can travel within the province “safely and respectfully.” Premier Horgan said, “I think this can be an exciting summer for all of us, but be mindful: this is not regular programming.”
What does this mean for Fernie and visitors from Alberta and other provinces? During question period the Premier and Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, were asked about inter-provincial travel. They supported inter-provincial travel with safety top of mind and being respectful of community needs and capacities.
This means visitors from other provinces are welcome to come to Fernie!
Fernie has worked hard to reopen and welcome visitors while keeping residents and guests safe. The community wants summer to be enjoyable and to respect the provincial health and physical distancing guidelines while exploring our outdoors, activities, shops, restaurants and attractions.
British Columbians have been increasing contacts with others in a safe way, such as donning personal protective equipment, standing behind barriers and avoiding large gatherings in small spaces. “Today’s modelling shows us that in British Columbia the measures we have in place to protect ourselves and each other from COVID-19, combined with the slow, gradual transition in Phase 2, is working,” said Dr. Henry. “We have eased our restrictions in a way that has allowed us to increase our social interactions to around 65 per cent, while keeping new cases of COVID-19 low. Looking ahead, until we have an effective treatment or vaccine, the rules for safe social interactions must continue to be maintained as part of our everyday activities to stay at this manageable level. The modelling tells us that if we go too far, we risk a rapid rebound in BC, something many others are now experiencing.”
The Fernie Tourism Association recommends the following when visiting Fernie:
– Please adhere to physical distancing (6 feet) between anyone outside of your family or traveling unit. This is important indoors and outdoors including on trails and in parks. If physical distancing is difficult to do than we recommend wearing a mask.
– Wash your hands frequently.
– Be kind, respectful and have patience with others. Please read and adhere to signage. We are all in this together and our community and businesses are working under specific guidelines and very unique circumstances to ensure your safety while providing a quality experience and product.
– COVID-19 safety guidelines have reduced the number of customers businesses can cater to at any given time. Many businesses have times when they are busier vs less busy within a given day or day of the week. Consider calling ahead to confirm the best times so you may be serviced more quickly.
– Contact restaurants and stores to check on current hours and how busy they may be. Most offer take-out, delivery and/or pick-up services.
– Help keep our first responders safe and hospitals able to handle all needs by playing safe and staying within your limits as you recreate in our amazing area.
– Keep your dog on leash throughout town, on community trails and in local parks. There is an off-leash dog park in town off 13th Street just past the Recycle Depot.
Thank you for adopting Dr. Bonnie Henry’s phrase when visiting, “Be kind, be calm and be safe.”