On August 6, to further its efforts in combatting COVID-19, Interior Health announced additional regional restrictions for Kelowna and the Central Okanagan.
These new restrictions, which are now in effect until further notice, include:
- Changes to capacity limits for gatherings:
- Personal gatherings:
- Up to 50 people outside.
- Up to 5 people or one other household for indoor gatherings.
- Organized gatherings:
- Both indoor and outdoor organized gatherings are limited to a maximum of 50 people and must have a COVID-19 safety plan in place.
- Personal gatherings:
- Limiting the number of people in vacation accommodations to the occupants plus up to 5 additional people.
- The closure of nightclubs and bars and the suspension of high-intensity group fitness classes. Casinos may remain open with a COVID-19 safety plan in place.
- Indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants is permitted; however, group sizes are again restricted to a maximum of 6 people (not restricted to household members) and liquor service must stop at 10 p.m.
The mask mandate for the region that was implemented at the end of July remains in place as well.
In addition to the restrictions listed above, public health officials are not recommending non-essential travel to the region at this time. We are asking residents and visitors to adhere to public health measures in place in our province, in our communities, and at individual businesses, and to please get vaccinated if they are able to. For those who do need to travel, we ask them to please make safe, smart, and responsible decisions. Kelowna and its surrounding communities need help and support to get through this challenging period. We will be ready to welcome back visitors when the timing is right.
We want to again extend our gratitude for those working hard to keep us safe, from health care workers to firefighters and many behind the scenes. We also sincerely appreciate all of the tourism and hospitality workers putting in extra hours and effort for the comfort and safety of their customers.
Tourism Kelowna is here to help during this challenging season and to help position our region for recovery. To assist you and your staff, we have compiled key messages relating to the new regional restrictions below. Please be in contact with our team with updates from your business or with any questions you may have.
- The health and safety of our community is our collective priority. Additional regional measures have been put in place by Interior Health to help reduce COVID-19 transmission and we ask visitors and residents to follow these guidelines to keep our community and each other safe.
- Public health officials are not recommending non-essential travel to or from the region, especially among those who are not vaccinated. We are asking residents and visitors to adhere to public health measures in place in our province, in our community, and at individual businesses, and if you’re able, please get vaccinated. Please consider if you need to travel right now, and if you do, please make safe, smart, and responsible decisions. Our community needs your help and support to get through this challenging period. We will welcome you back when the timing is right.
- We are doing our part to support the ongoing public health response. Local businesses have health and safety protocols and plans in place and will continue to refine them as needed. The past number of months have demonstrated that visits to accommodations, attractions, and businesses with COVID-19 measures in place can be enjoyed safely and responsibly. Local businesses are under increased challenges due to high demand and labour challenges. The stress on businesses, many already operating at decreased capacity during peak season and still recovering from months of restrictions and closures, is significant.
- Currently, there are public health and weather conditions that may impact your travel, and it’s important you know before you go. Call ahead to ask questions and seek information from official sources to make informed travel decisions. We also ask individuals to continue supporting local businesses as much as possible.
- Interior Health reports that more than 95% of recent cases in our region are among people who are not fully vaccinated. Anyone who can get vaccinated, should, to protect themselves and each other. Vaccination clinics are ongoing and Interior Health is increasing its efforts to make this possible. The health of our community and residents, and the future of Kelowna and area's $2-billion tourism industry, depends on it.
For more information, contact Chris Shauf, Director of Marketing & Communication, email@example.com