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COVID-19: B.C. premier encourages people to stay home for upcoming holidays

WATCH: B.C. Premier John Horgan holds his weekly media availability in Victoria..

Premier John Horgan is encouraging British Columbians not to travel for the upcoming holidays, though was not sure when the province will announce any specific restrictions on gathering during that time.

At his weekly news conference, Horgan said he expects provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix to update the latest public restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 on Monday.

The premier would not say whether he expects the restrictions to continue or whether the next phase of orders will include restrictions around the holidays.

“I am one of those Christmas Eve shoppers. I tend to focus on Christmas 24 hours before it arrives,” Horgan said.

“I know there are a lot of families who are concerned about the year we have had and have looked with some hope to the Christmas break and perhaps a celebration to a new year. I can’t give an answer to that now.”

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B.C’s new NDP Cabinet sworn in – Nov 26, 2020

The legislature is set to return on Monday for a one- or two-week session, he added.

Once MLAs are back, the new NDP majority government is expected to introduce legislation to provide funding for the one-time direct deposit to B.C. families of up to $1,000 based on income to help offset the economic impact of COVID-19.

The brief session will also include a speech from the throne, while the province grapples with whether to push back the release of its budget, from February to March, to allow for more time to consider the effects of the pandemic and its second wave.

Read more: B.C.’s new cabinet: Rob Fleming out as education minister, Selina Robinson heads finance

Horgan said the province’s task force on the pandemic’s impact on the tourism sector is expected to release its findings next week.

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