A Canada-U.S. ban on non-essential travel is set to expire next week, in a May 12, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Plans in motion for provinces to begin reopening amid COVID-19 pandemic

Ban on non-essential travel with the U.S. set to expire

OTTAWA — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says Ottawa and Washington are working on plans to deal with an increase in cross-border traffic as states and provinces begin reopening.

There’s currently a Canada-U.S. ban on non-essential travel, which is set to expire next week.

British Columbia is allowing a partial reopening of its economy starting May 19, right after the Victoria Day long weekend.

The mayor of the provincial capital says the city wants to lend some support by spicing up the downtown core.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said Monday the recipe for a successful restaurant recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic could involve adding outdoor patios, parking lots, sidewalks and even streets to allow for physical distancing.

Vancouver’s council is also preparing to debate the issue today.

Ontario, one of the provinces hardest hit by COVID-19, is expected to extend its state of emergency to June 2, as retail stores were allowed to partly reopen.

The provincial legislature will sit today, while also holding question period again.

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