It’s been a long 4 months and many people are feeling exhausted with the social distancing, but we’ve done a great job and our COVID case numbers have shown it! BC has things under control and we are now entering Phase 3! Because of our diligence in social distancing, washing hands, and wearing masks, we are getting to enjoy a great Summer with some of the iconic events that make Summer special.
Phase 3 allows for more businesses to reopen, the film industry to resume shooting, and for local travel to take place – but it doesn’t mean the pandemic is over or that we can let our guard down entirely. Phase 2 guidelines remain in place, such as physical distancing with those outside your bubble and while out at restaurants.
“We need to remember that although we’re going to have a summer that’s better than we would have thought perhaps a few months ago, this is not a return to normal,” said Horgan Wednesday.
With this in mind, what can you look forward to this Summer?
1. Canada Day the PNE will host the first-ever drive-thru Canada Day celebration. Designed with full COVID protocols in place as a ‘reverse’ Parade which will see guests drive their cars along the Parade Route. The experience will celebrate everything Canada with live performers, logger sports, and a celebration of Canada’s national sport of hockey along the route. Guests will be encouraged to decorate their vehicles in a Canadian theme and dress in their favourite red and white and wave the flag with pride. Tickets are $10 per car and are available at Ticketleader.ca.
2. Playland Amusement Park! On July 10th the PNE will reopen the first phase Playland Amusement Park for the summer. This initial opening will include between 10-12 of the park’s most popular family-friendly rides and attractions. Additional rides will be added later this summer. Tickets will be under $30 per person for Playland phase one and will be available June 30 at Ticketleader.ca.
3. Roadtrips! More than half of British Columbians are planning to hit the road this summer making it more important than ever before to prepare as planning plays a pivotal role due to pandemic restrictions and uncertainties. In a recent survey from BCAA, 83% of British Columbians say they won’t go anywhere without checking that their destination is welcoming visitors. And, 75% of people planning to road trip this summer planning to prepare more carefully than usual in order to keep safe during the pandemic. Here are a few tips to make sure your trip goes off without a hitch!
- Think about who is in your bubble and whether you want to increase the risk to them by traveling
- Stay home if you’re sick!
- Continue to uphold COVID-19 safety precautions, such as washing your hands, physical distancing, and cleaning your space and surfaces often.
- Leave prepared, get your vehicle serviced, inspect your spare tire top up your emergency kit (include items like windshield fluid, pylons, blanket, flashlight, portable battery charger, etc. – don’t forget the COVID essentials, hand sanitizer, wipes, soap, and extra masks).
- Plan your destination, book your accommodations, and plan your route in advance. Make sure the places you’re passing through and visiting are welcoming visitors this summer. Bring a paper map in case technology fails.
- If you are visiting a smaller community, come prepared with groceries and essential supplies if possible, to prevent the amount of time you spend moving around in that community.
4. Visit the Royal BC Museum in Victoria to catch a blockbuster feature exhibition and snap the annual group photo in front of the Woolly Mammoth. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition been extended until September 7, 2020. Now in its 55th year, the exhibition comes from the Natural History Museum in London and showcases 100 outstanding nature photographs from around the world. (You’ll need to secure a timed ticket—there will be strict visitor limits in place.) To help your family get the most from the experience, be sure to read art and images curator India Young’s blog post on how to look at art.
The Natural History gallery on the second floor—home to everyone’s favourite Woolly Mammoth—was the first to reopen to visitors on June 19, followed by the First Peoples gallery on the third floor on August 1, and the Becoming BC gallery on September 7. (The phased roll-out includes—ahem—mammoth health and safety enhancements, such as one-way traffic systems, abundant hand-washing and sanitizer stations, enhanced cleaning protocols, and mandatory physical distancing requirements.) The good news: family memberships encourage return visits, and current members will have their passes appropriately extended to reflect the museum closure. (And when the littles get hungry: the food trucks will be open again for physically distanced outdoor dining!)
It’s going to be an exciting Summer and with a little extra effort, we can make sure that BC continues to keep the curve flattened. Enjoy your local community. We live in an amazing Province and there are beautiful places to see in every area.
Keep Safe and Happy Summer!