Officials in B.C. recently mentioned that we probably aren’t likely to see large gatherings for public events through the summer, not even in the fall or winter this year.
Those large events with thousands of people will be put off until next year, this includes things like the PNE and others.
There are already travel restrictions for those in B.C. with people ordered to stay in their own health authority regions unless they are leaving for essential purposes. This is to try and deal with the rising cases in the province and the pressure that has been placed on health facilities around the region because of COVID-19 and variants.
Whistler and other areas have been targeted for vaccination campaigns and the vaccination rate in the province has been growing at a decent rate. There are still many left to get vaccinated though.
In April it was reported that less than 1 per cent of the province had their vaccination done.
Over 29.31 per cent of the Canadian population has been vaccinated with their first dose.
There will be many more who are getting their second dose in the weeks to come. There are over 10 million Canadian adults who have already been vaccinated.
The travel restrictions that were put into place not that long ago for COVID-19 safety, they were only supposed to be in place for several weeks.
The restrictions for travel are in place until May long weekend and at that time we might see them extended. But things are looking brighter and cases have recently been on the decline, so things might not be as closed down for the rest of the year if it continues going well.
Waiting For The Pandemic To Be Over
If officials feel that they have control of the situation then we can expect more restrictions to be eased. Right now there are still a variety of restrictions in B.C. for indoor dining and group activities etc. But this might change in the next few months.
There is hope for summer as Dr. Bonnie Henry recently admitted that their plan is to welcome some small outdoor events by summer if things continue on the right track. There is not much luck that we will see big outdoor events by summer, or even later this year, but at least small events will be something.
These events that they do allow, the small outdoor events, might have hundreds of people still that are allowed to attend.
Canadians are ready to get back to normal. Some large events and festivals might get cancelled still this year and push it until next year, or continue to go virtual rather than open up as normal.
Decrease in COVID-19 Cases for B.C.
However, despite looking a little optimistic for summer, researchers suggest that we can still expected hospitalizations to possibly remain high throughout May.
Travel Restrictions in B.C. until May Long Weekend
When they introduced the travel restrictions for people in B.C. they were looking to try and avert a disaster with COVID-19 overwhelming hospitals in the region.
Other provinces like Ontario has also introduced similar lock down measures though you might say their approach was more restrictive than we experienced here in B.C.
Alberta is also seeing a recent rise in cases so they too are newly looking to reportedly introduce measures, changes that will restrict certain activities, for public-health reasons.
This summer was expected to be a record-breaking year for the BC camping industry. If things reopen soon then we might see those campsites fill up quickly. Reservations opened awhile ago for camp locations around B.C., with priority given to those in B.C., and they have already been seeing high demand.
Earlier this year B.C. was well on its way to reopening with its plan to march forward to a new normal, to put the pandemic behind us, but the 3rd wave became more of an issue.
The travel restrictions, indoor dining restrictions, and other COVID-19 changes, all came as a shock to many, especially those who have had to cancel travel plans and vacations because of it so far.
Things were looking better and so it wasn’t expected that we might see it slightly locked down again. But we were encouraged to make that sacrifice because it was what was needed for a ‘normal summer’ and to deal with the problem at hand.
Now, with cases on the decline in COVID-19 cases in the region it looks like things are turning up and summer, at least for now, is looking much more optimistic.
There are only a few days left on the travel restrictions, those that are up for extension on May long weekend. If things continue to go well then we might see them lifted next weekend rather than extended.
The uncertainty of the restrictions and whether or not they might be extended in B.C. has already complicated some summer plans.
Last year summer road trips and staycations were all the rage because there were very limited options for where people could go. Right now in Canada international travel is still restricted for non-essential purposes, cruise ships aren’t coming through Vancouver yet either. And those travel restrictions might still be extended for several more weeks.
Some Cities in B.C. Start Allowing People to Drink in Parks
For one more year we might be resorting to staycations and camping, local summer road trips, instead of planning anything further away.
Giving Back to B.C. Parks We Enjoy So Much
For those who might want to support BC Parks right now there is a new drink pack that you can find being sold in BC Liquor Stores with proceeds going to the BC Parks Foundation.
That drink pack, known as the Parks Forever Pack, is a 24-pack of cans that come from a variety of companies, sold for $47 and one dollar goes to the BC Parks Foundation.
Parks and campgrounds around B.C. are used to seeing millions of visitors yearly. COVID-19 changed things last year and we saw more RV trips and staycations going on around B.C., and we are likely to see a lot more of that this summer as well. Things won’t look much like a ‘normal summer’ that we are used to though until those COVID-19 restrictions are further lifted, borders are open, cruise ships are back, and masks are no longer needed.