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B.C. to implement new COVID-19 measures ahead of the holidays

In the face of growing COVID-19 case numbers, the B.C. government will implement some revised orders, including limits of public and private gatherings.

Provincial government officials said the measures will be in effect from Monday, Dec. 20 until at least Jan 31, 2022.

“These measures will help us to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the ones we care about,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Slowing the spread and keeping each other safe is a cause in which we are all connected. It’s that togetherness that will get all of us through the next days and weeks.”

The revised measures include:

  • indoor personal gatherings are limited to one household plus 10 guests or one additional household if all attendees aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated.
  • All organized events will require the BC Vaccine Card to be scanned, regardless of event size.
  • Limited movement between tables and seating requirements at bars and restaurants. Masks must be worn when not seated.
  • Venues with a capacity of 1,000 or more will be capped at 50per cent, with reinforced masking requirements and scanning of the BC Vaccine Card QR code.
  • All sports tournaments will be suspended, but single games will be allowed.
  • All New Year’s Eve events will be restricted to being seated-only events, with no mingling or dancing allowed.

According to the B.C. government, the COVID-19 case rate in the province has nearly doubled in the past week, with 135 cases of the Omicron variant.

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“While vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19, we are now dealing with the new threat of a more transmissible variant,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “We need to take these measures until we understand the full impact Omicron will have in the B.C. context. It is imperative people follow the new orders in how they celebrate this season. However, there are many things we can now do safely with reasonable and prudent measures like wearing a mask, staying home when sick, getting tested and, most importantly, getting fully vaccinated.”

British Columbians are asked to limit indoor gatherings to fully vaccinated people only, ensure proper ventilation indoors, avoid all travel if not fully vaccinated and follow the travel advisory to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada.

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