BC announced its reopening plan this week, setting the stage for a life without limits in the wake of COVID-19.
But just how that unfolds for the farm sector and rural communities across the province is unclear.
The four-stage plan announced by Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on May 25 includes immediate allowances for indoor dining and gatherings. Travel restrictions will lift June 15, providing case counts and hospitalizations continue to decline, and consultations will begin regarding large gatherings. By early July, the size of permitted gatherings will begin to increase with safety plans in place.
Will the larger gatherings include fairs and exhibitions, which Henry has previously said were off the table this summer?
BC Fairs, which represents agricultural fairs across the province, is waiting to hear.
“We will have more on the possibility of BC fairs in the coming days,” it said in a post to social media.
The province says any broader reopening this summer will only come after discussions with industry.
“Roundtables led by ministries across government will engage with industry and labour, along with WorkSafeBC and public health, to help develop comprehensive updated industry-specific safety plans,” the province explained in a statement.
AgSafeBC, which played a key role in helping farm employers adapt to requirements during the pandemic, will continue to play a role in assisting farms through the reopening process.