BC’s State of Emergency Extended to August 18

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Victoria/Fraser Valley – August 4 UPDATE – The B.C. government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

“In recent weeks, British Columbians have been reminded that COVID-19 case counts can easily rise if we’re not careful,” said Premier John Horgan. “As we continue our slow and safe approach to Phase 3, extending the provincial state of emergency will continue to provide government with the resources we need to respond to any new challenges. This is not the time to let our guard down.”  

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on Aug. 18, 2020, to allow government to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns, such as recent outbreaks in some areas of the province.

“We still need to be able to access the necessary tools to support communities as they combat COVID-19 and its impacts,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “We will continue to extend this provincial state of emergency as long as necessary so we can ensure we are able to respond quickly and effectively to this pandemic.”  

JULY 21 UPDATE – The B.C. government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, to August 4, allowing Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

“I want to commend everyone in British Columbia for following public health advice to reduce transmission and keep everyone safe from COVID-19,” said Premier John Horgan. “However, we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and we’re not out of the woods yet. As a government, we are working to ensure the supports people need during this unprecedented time continue to be available, which is why we’re extending provincial state of emergency today.”

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, to allow government to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe.

“While some restrictions have been eased, we must stay the course to flatten the COVID-19 curve,” Farnworth said. “This means that even as British Columbians start to carefully adjust to life in Phase 3, we are maintaining the necessary critical supports to respond to and alleviate the effects of this pandemic.”  

On July 10, the COVID-19 Related Measures Act came into force. The legislation enables provisions created for people and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue as needed after the provincial state of emergency ends.

JULY 7 UPDATE – The B.C. government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

“We’re starting to see some restrictions lifting, but there are measures we need to keep in place to continue battling COVID-19,” said Premier John Horgan. “We will continue to take the necessary steps to make sure British Columbians are safe and that the most vulnerable people are protected, while experts work to find a treatment or vaccine.”

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on July 21, 2020. This will allow government to continue to take the necessary steps to keep British Columbians safe while measures that would allow the state of emergency to be lifted seek legislative approval.

“We’ve made a commitment to British Columbians to do all that we can to keep COVID-19 at bay,” Farnworth said. “The extension of the state of emergency will allow us to keep orders in place to ensure public safety until measures are in place to transition out of the state of emergency.”

JUNE 21 ORIGINAL STORY – The next step in BC’s Restart Plan is a gradual transition to Phase 3, including the safe and respectful return of travel and tourism within the province, and a gentle re-boot of the film and TV industry.

British Columbians who wish to travel within B.C. this summer are advised to plan ahead and be respectful while visiting communities, especially smaller and rural towns. The provincial health officer has laid out travel guidelines for everyone travelling to and within B.C.:

  • pre-trip planning and research on available resources at arriving destination;
  • respecting any local travel advisories to isolated and remote communities;
  • no travelling for anyone who is sick, and if symptoms develop while travelling – self isolate immediately and contact 811 for guidance and testing;
  • practising safe physical distancing of two metres at all times;
  • spending time in small groups and open spaces; and
  • practising good hygiene, including frequent handwashing and cleaning.

“Like other activities during our COVID-19 pandemic, summer holidays and travel will be different this year,” Premier Horgan said. “We are asking British Columbians to be respectful of the communities you travel to and do your research before you leave. We will help people get the tools and information they need to navigate this new normal safely.”

Most of the businesses listed in Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan now have the guidance they need to safely begin to open. WorkSafeBC, public health officials and industry representatives have developed guidelines for hotels and resorts, parks, the film industry and select entertainment, like movie theatres, and businesses in these sectors have already begun to open with COVID-19 safety plans in place.

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on July 7, 2020, allowing government to continue to take the necessary steps to keep British Columbians safe.

“We’re extending the provincial state of emergency, while we work to keep the economy moving and provide more opportunities for B.C. businesses to welcome our communities back,” Farnworth said. “We’ve also introduced legislation that will allow us to put longer-term solutions in place, so we can continue to provide the support British Columbians need to get through this crisis.”

On Monday, June 22, 2020, government introduced the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, legislation to allow provisions created for citizens and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue as needed after the provincial state of emergency ends.

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