Due to a recent outbreak in COVID-19 cases in the Central Okanagan BC health officials have recently declared that the mask mandate is coming back for indoor public spaces.
To try and increase vaccination rates in the province officials are also kicking off different COVID campaigns like mobile clinics to try and make it easier for people to get vaccinated.
As for the current cases in the province it is reported that the majority of them are from unvaccinated individuals, less than 5 per cent are coming from those who have been vaccinated according to CTV news.
Right now the province of British Columbia has one of the highest vaccine rates in the world, at around 80 per cent of those who are eligible who have been vaccinated. They are looking to try and get to those last few who remain who haven’t been vaccinated yet, by educating and giving more convenience for vaccination services etc.
Moving Forward With the BC 2021 reopening
BC is well underway with the 2021 reopening and this means that we are slowly easing those COVID-19 related restrictions around social gatherings, as well as on different businesses like casinos and movie theaters.
We can also expect the border restrictions to start easing soon for vaccinated travelers, cruise ships to come back, and a slow progression toward more of those restrictions being eased.
Many are wondering when travel might resume as normal again, not just for those who are partially or fully vaccinated. How far away are we from normal travel? Will we ever see normal travel again? For now things still look quite different. Though we might have seen some restrictions be eased, like mask mandates and other rules, they could just as easily come back as we have seen in other areas that are now facing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Just recently, Canadian authorities had been reportedly separating travelers at the airport arrival terminals based on their vaccination status but that approach seemed to be quickly terminated just as fast as it was announced. The approach is also reportedly being considered in other areas around Canada.
Canada Border Reopening For Non-essential Travel
Now that we are close to getting travel restrictions loosened at the border though, there is another issue that might stand in the way of that reopening and that is the recent announcement that the Union representing Canadian border authorities have voted to strike.
It isn’t clear how this is going to impact their plans for that Canada – US border reopening this year or what delays it might fuel etc. Not only might it cause some potential slowdown of that border reopening transition for some travelers but it could cause some supply chain disruptions as well.
Already, there are hundreds of fires burning around British Columbia that have played some role in impacting the supply chain this year.
If the Canadian supply chain is further impacted then Canadians could start to see that trickle down and show up on their shelves, on the prices of goods that they are buying.
Right now there are many people on either side of the border who are patiently waiting for it to reopen again and as far as when that might fully reopen to unvaccinated travelers, with no restrictions, for non-essential travel, that isn’t made clear yet. Neither is how much of an impact this recent vote might have on that US – Canada border reopening this year as they had recently planned to ease some of those travel restrictions.
Not only has that mask mandate come back to the Okanagan region but they are also asking all unvaccinated travelers to avoid the area as well.