Public Health Emergency Declared in BC – Bars + Clubs Must Close, Restaurants May Have To Resort To Take-Out Only

Dr. Bonnie Henry

Victoria (with files from News1130) – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency on Tuesday, as three more deaths are reported in B.C. due to COVID-19. Two in the Lynn Valley Care Home and the other in the Fraser Health region (a man in his 80’s).

Henry says the spread of the virus is now affecting other parts of the province, including the northern region and Vancouver Island.

And as the number of cases rise, Henry says she’s no longer confident bars, and clubs can ensure patrons are kept a safe distance apart.

“Restaurants and cafes, in some cases, can meet criteria for physical distancing, but those who can not maintain the physical distancing will need to close or to move to take out and delivery services.”

“Effective immediately, businesses with liquor primary licences, such as bars, pubs and night clubs, must close as they are unable to adequately meet the requirements of social distancing. Restaurants and cafes that cannot maintain social distancing of one to two meters between patrons will need to move to take-out and delivery models.

“We also remind British Columbians that public gatherings of more than 50 people – indoors or outdoors – must be cancelled.

“This is the second time the provincial health officer has served notice under the Public Health Act to exercise emergency powers. The first declaration was in 2016, in response to the overdose crisis.

“We would like to remind people that tests are available for all those who need them, but not everyone requires a test.

“To further support people who are wondering if they should be tested, a new self-assessment tool is now available. Before calling 811, we recommend completing the self-assessment at: http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/

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