Princeton is getting back to business

Princeton, along with the rest of British Columbia, is getting back to business carefully.

Last week, the province announced a series of plans to begin reopening the economy, and loosening rules surrounding social distancing and public spaces.

Beginning mid-month, “enhanced protocols” will be implemented, expanding access to services that were deemed non-essential during what the government refers to as Phase One of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

Some health services will be restored, including elective surgery, dentistry, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, chiropractor care, physical therapy and speech therapy, according to the province’s website.

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Retail, hair salons, barbers, and office-based work sites may reopen with health and safety guidelines in place.

Restaurants, cafes, and pubs can begin table service with sufficient distancing measures, and museums, art galleries and libraries may open under similar rules.

The protocols also allow for recreation and sports, child care, and the use of parks, beaches and outdoor spaces, all attached to physical distancing and sanitary restrictions.

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Mayor Spencer Coyne welcomed the news, but expressed some concern that not all residents will respect the measures put in place for safety.

“My biggest concern is that people will just interpret it as business as usual,” he said. “Personal responsibility does not stop on May 14.”

May 14 is the day parks will be open for day use, with June 1 set as the day for camping to be allowed at most provincial parks and recreation sites.

If transmission rates remain low or decline in the next six weeks, hotels and resorts may open, the film industry can turn on its cameras, and movies and symphonies will be open for entertainment in July, but there will be no large concerts permitted.

Also, schools will reopen in September 2020.

Locally, there is already been a buzz of activity.

Subway reopened last week, along with other smaller retailers. The Source, Princeton’s only electronics store which is also managed by Coyne, opened with reduced hours and a barrier at the door to accomodate ‘walk-by’ traffic.

Business was brisk as Coyne served at least six customers over the course of a 20-minute interview.

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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