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Ways to Explore Safely in Kelowna

November 19, 2020: New province-wide, temporary provincial health orders were put in place on November 20 at 12:00 am and will remain in place until December 7, including recommendations to avoid all non-essential travel within and to the province of B.C.

The vast outdoors, variety of restaurants, numerous wineries, and plenty of attractions means that there are a lot of ways to have fun, safely in Kelowna.

In response to COVID-19, local businesses have adapted their protocols to ensure the health and safety of their customers and staff. These businesses are ready to welcome customers back, safely, and your support is more important than ever. For a list of businesses that are open in the area, click here.

If you are travelling within B.C. for essential purposes, please remember to be smart, safe, and respectful; if you are feeling sick, stay home. Those travelling from other provinces should also consult with their local health officials for guidance on travel. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolate immediately and contact 8-1-1 for guidance and testing. View additional information on travel here.

While you’re planning your visit, and while exploring Kelowna and area, keep these things in mind to stay safe this fall and beyond:

Do Your Research and Plan Ahead

Many businesses in Kelowna are back to business with additional health and safety measures in place. For example, operating hours may be reduced, capacity limited or safety protocols may require you wear a mask. Ensure that you visit the website, social media channels, and/or call the businesses you hope to visit to plan ahead and reserve if necessary.

In the case of accommodations or other reservations, be sure to fully understand refund or cancellation policies at each business in the event you have to change your plans.

Mind Your Distance 

Physical distancing is one of the easiest ways to keep yourself and those around you safe. Stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from others as much as possible while out exploring. If you’re unable to physically distance or in indoor public spaces, wear a mask to protect yourself and those around you. 

Smaller is Better

Big family gatherings will have to be put on hold this year. Exploring Kelowna with your household or 'safe six' means it’s easy to ensure you can physically distance. Keep your social bubble small, gather outside when possible—or in spaces with approved COVID-19 protocols in place—and have a designated contact keeper when necessary. Remember, local businesses like wineries, restaurants, and breweries can only accommodate tables of six or less.

Maintain Proper Hygiene

Remember to limit touching your face and to wash your hands, often, with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. When you're unable to use soap and water, use hand sanitizer, which is often provided by businesses upon entrance. Avoid sharing items, like food and drinks, with others.

Come Prepared

If you are travelling for essential reasons, ensure you have a safety kit that includes, soap, hand sanitizer, a mask, gloves, and toilet paper.

Bigger Spaces, Fewer Faces

Visiting parks in and around Kelowna is a great way to get out into nature and put Dr. Bonnie Henry's advice of "bigger spaces, fewer faces" into practice. Always remember to practice Leave No Trace principles to ensure our wild spaces are safe and clean for the next visitor and be AdventureSmart when exploring outdoors. 

Be Kind. Be Calm. Be Safe.

As Dr. Bonnie Henry always reminds us, we’re in this together. Some activities and establishments now have limited capacity, which means longer wait times or, possibly, not being able to visit a business you had hoped to. As well, all staff and other customers are getting used to new safety protocols to ensure we all stay safe; businesses must adhere to these protocols to remain in operation. Take care and be patient with everyone you come in contact with.

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