Vancouver – Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the COVID-19 response in British Columbia:

“We are progressing, but we are not yet in a place where any of us can let go of the headway we have made. So, as much as we all want to take a step back, we need to continue to push forward.

“Where we can do things more safely is outside. As a result, the provincial health officer (PHO) order on gatherings and events has been amended to allow for outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.

“Should you choose to meet with your family and friends, remember that safety needs to continue to be top of mind and the requirement to follow all COVID-19 safety plans remains in place – at work or school, when we are out for dinner or going to the grocery store.

“There are no changes to the current restrictions on indoor gatherings – in our homes or elsewhere. The requirements for restaurants and bars also continue. This is a slow turning of the dial.

“St. Patrick’s Day is next week, a day when we often gather with friends. While we can now enjoy the day in a small group outside, the PHO order on food and liquor establishments is being amended to restrict alcohol sales as they were on New Year’s Eve.

“Our recipe and our plan for the next few weeks is straightforward: Keep using our layers of protection and following the orders and restrictions. If you are seeing others, stay small and it must be outside. ‘Few faces, open spaces and safety layers in place’ are what we need to put COVID-19 behind us.”

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