VANCOUVER -- The province of British Columbia will eliminate its three-month mandatory waiting period for those coming back to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the medical service commission met on Wednesday to finalize the decision.

Normally, anyone who has been away from the province for more than six months in a calendar year loses their Medical Services Plan eligibility.

Those applying for MSP coverage once back in B.C. would then need to wait three months.

But as Canadians are taking direction from the federal government to come home, Dix said the province will take action to make sure they have healthcare when they return.

“They have been called to return," Dix said. "The three month waiting period, which has its own purpose in normal times, doesn’t have that purpose now."

The news couldn’t come soon enough for Katie Mathews, her husband Geoff and their 20-year-old daughter.

The family of three, who have operated their B.C. licensed business from Budapest, Hungry for the past three years, feared coming back to Canada straight from their vacation to Mexico meant they would be at risk.

“Mexico is not really taking social distancing seriously,” she said from Playa Del Carmen.

“Getting home where people have gotten the message —that is safer than being somewhere where social life is still going on.”