Victoria (with files from CBC) – As expected with the Omicron variant taking hold, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Provincial Health Officer for BC has laid down restrictions that won’t go down well for some, as they will affect holiday plans.
The new public health measures, which will come into effect on Monday December 20 and remain in place until Jan. 31, include:
- Indoor personal gatherings limited to household members plus 10 guests or one additional household — as long as everyone aged 12 and up is vaccinated.
- Venues holding more than 1,000 people limited to 50-per-cent capacity.
- Organized New Year’s Eve events of all sizes must be cancelled, except for seated gatherings.
- Sports tournaments and associated travel are suspended for all ages.
- B.C. vaccine cards required for events of all sizes, including those involving fewer than 50 people.
- Diners at restaurants must remain at their tables and not mix or mingle with other parties.
- New province-wide restrictions starting December 20
- PHO order on masks in public indoor settings
- PHO order on gatherings and events
- PHO order on restaurants, pubs and bars
- Regional restrictions by health authority
- Guidance for visiting long-term care or seniors’ assisted living facilities
Henry also urged retailers to have COVID-19 safety plans in place for holiday and Boxing Day sales and said the province will be stepping up scanning of vaccine QR codes to make sure proof of vaccination is confirmed in all settings.
Religious gatherings are also allowed to go ahead under existing public health rules, with full capacity allowed if all participants are fully vaccinated, and 50 per cent capacity if there are unvaccinated people attending.
Strict mask and capacity rules should be enforced, at worship services as well as in stores and other public spaces heading into holiday sales.
The Bryan Adams concert , New Years Eve at Rogers Arena, has been cancelled.
More to come.