Sixteen months after growing concerns around COVID-19 prompted the closure of White Rock’s civic buildings to the public, the city has announced plans to reopen.
In a news release issued Monday (July 5), the city advises its doors will open to the public on July 19.
Following the “transition to normal” announced for July 1 by the provincial health officer, the city’s reopening date “allows for the continued return to work for employees who are working remotely and provides time to develop and implement the new safety plans in line with WorkSafeBC regulation,” the release states.
In Step 3 of B.C.’s Restart plan, all sectors may transition from COVID-19-specific safety plans to using communicable disease-prevention plans based on WorkSafeBC’s guideline.
Step 4, set to begin Sept. 7, removes most restrictions related to COVID-19.
As part of Step 3, White Rock has put new mask guidelines in place, the release continues. The face coverings are no longer mandatory in the city’s indoor public spaces, but are recommended for all those 12 years of age and older who are not yet fully vaccinated (meaning 14 days have passed since receiving a second dose of vaccine).
Mayor Darryl Walker described the reopening as “a historic moment in time.”
“We look forward to welcoming residents and visitors to City of White Rock buildings and programs as we transition to the full opening in September, as the COVID-19 case count numbers allow,” Walker said in the release.
“On behalf of Council, I want to thank residents for doing an excellent job of staying safe, respecting COVID-19 pandemic rules and getting the vaccines as soon as they are available to you.
“This is a wonderful, caring city and I so look forward to seeing people out on the streets a whole lot more.”
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