The Kelowna Chamber wants improved communication and better engagement with businesses from the provincial government.
The call comes after Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s announcement Tuesday (Jan. 18) that gyms and fitness centres can re-open under specific conditions. Late Monday, the province had amended a previous public health order imposing an “indefinite” element to the order. Dr. Henry announced new orders for gym and fitness centres during her COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday.
Those businesses can re-open as of Thursday (Jan. 20) if they have COVID-19 safety plans in place. Capacity limits and the continued use of the B.C. vaccine card are also required. All other restrictions remain in place for another month including the closure of bars and nightclubs, and again the vaccine card.
“Working with the businesses in those specific sectors will create safer environments and greater buy-in by business leaders who clearly have had trouble understanding the government’s recent decisions,” says Jeffrey Robinson, Chair of the Board for the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. “We fully understand the province needs to take action to get a handle on the pandemic and our Chamber appreciates the efforts and dedication demonstrated by health care professionals. With that said though, government at all levels need to provide the public clear data that backs up why they are making the decisions they are making, unfortunately, that hasn’t always been the case.”
A statement from the Chamber says a renewed commitment to engage those being impacted by restrictions is also needed so specific sector-by-sector regulations can be put in place to allow businesses to safely continue to operate rather than imposing complete closures.