At present, many businesses in Summerland have closed their doors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Toni Boot expects to see a gradual loosening of the pandemic restrictions in the coming weeks. (Summerland Review file photo)

Summerland mayor anticipates relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions

Directives have been in place for the past month and a half

Summerland residents are continuing to follow the physical distancing requirements and other directives during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many are ready for restrictions to be relaxed, mayor Toni Boot says.

“I think there’s a growing push for people to be able to move around more freely,” she said. “They’re ready to resume a more normal life.”

The measures to control the spread of COVID-19 have been in place for around a month and a half.

READ ALSO: Hints of COVID-19 relief for B.C. as restaurants, haircuts considered

READ ALSO: B.C. could see some COVID-19 restrictions eased by mid-May: Health officials

During this time, many businesses have been forced to close their doors or to make significant adjustments in order to be able to stay open.

In addition, some businesses have been struggling because of the pandemic and not all are expected to reopen.

Boot expects to see an economic recovery after the restrictions are lifted.

“I think we will see the sharpest economic recovery if we also recognize we’re all in this together,” she said. “If we continue to stand together, that will give us our best chance.”

While Boot would like to see restrictions lifted, she said the process will not happen immediately. Instead, she anticipates a slow and gradual process, beginning in the coming weeks.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s public health officer, has said the province could begin lifting some of the restrictions in mid-May.

However, she has also said the province must continue to manage the pandemic when the restrictions are relaxed.

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