With COVID-19 case counts once again on the rise, the provincial government has announced that additional province-wide restrictions will come into effect at 11:59 p.m. on December 22; these restrictions will remain in place until 11:59 p.m. on January 18, 2022.
As outlined in today's press release, the restrictions will include:
- no organized indoor social events and gatherings of any size;
- concerts, sports games, and theatres reduced to 50% seated capacity, regardless of venue size;
- closing gyms, fitness centres, and dance studios;
- closing bars and nightclubs; and
- limiting table sizes at restaurants, cafes, and pubs to a maximum of six people per table with physical distancing or barriers.
These restrictions are in addition to those that took effect on December 20, which include:
- limiting indoor, personal gatherings, including in rental and vacation properties, to the household/residents plus 10 individuals, or one additional household maximum, if all people aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated;
- customers must stay seated and cannot move between or visit other tables at restaurants, cafes and pubs. Masks are required when not seated; and
- pausing all sports tournaments and associated travel while the order is in effect.
Businesses operating in the retail space are also being advised to have COVID-19 safety plans in place for the holiday season, including Boxing Day.
The federal government is recommending that Canadians avoid travel outside of the country, regardless of vaccination status. Provincial health officials are advising British Columbians to adhere to the federal guidelines regarding international travel and to avoid domestic travel if they are not fully vaccinated.
Additional details on the new restrictions are available on the Government of BC website. The corresponding Provincial Health Officer Orders will be posted here when available.
Destination BC (DBC) updated its Messaging Guidance for BC's Tourism Industry document on December 17; visit DBC's Emergency Preparedness Page to access the document and watch for further updates to messaging in alignment with today's announcement.