'Stand together by staying apart': B.C. officials on Canada Day celebrations

Speaking to reporters at a Monday COVID-19 briefing, Dr. Bonnie Henry expressed concern as airlines begin to relax physical distancing rules. Henry says it's important that people wear a mask if they choose to fly and not board a plane if they are showing signs of sickness. Health Minister Adrian Dix also says the province is working with Transport Canada about screening measures and guidelines to ensure public safety.

Canada Day is on Wednesday, and B.C. health officials are reminding people to celebrate safely under the COVID-19 crisis.

Many of the large events commonly held in communities across B.C. are going digital this year.

People will still likely find ways to mark the holiday face-to-face, and the province is urging everyone to make sure they maintain physical distancing, keep gatherings small and outdoors, and avoid sharing food. In addition, if you are sick, stay home.

“This will be the most important summer memory we can create in our Canada Day celebrations and beyond,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday.

“Let us continue to stand together by staying apart. Let us continue to stand on guard against the spread of COVID-19.”

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Meanwhile, a new poll out Tuesday suggests many will still celebrate Canada Day “as normal.”

Forty-two per cent of respondents in a survey conducted by Leger Marketing and the Association for Canadian Studies said July 1 will be no different than any other year, despite all that’s gone on in the last three months.

The feeling is strongest in B.C., the province widely seen as weathering the COVID-19 storm better than others. There, 22 per cent said they’re more likely to party as in previous years.

Sixteen per cent overall of those surveyed said they are feeling that true patriot love — that they’re more likely this year to find a way to celebrate, even if it’s just a small gathering.

– with files from The Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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