British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer says she is working on coming up with a health order to limit the number of people that will be allowed to stay at short-term rental properties during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This order, which will be applied to health regions across the province, comes in light of a recent spike in cases, many of which are linked to several events and parties in the central Okanagan region.
“I will be introducing an order requiring those who rent properties, whether it’s boats, rooms, AirBnb, houseboats, or houses, to limit the numbers of guests and visitors to those premises as part of those rental agreements,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry at a press briefing on Thursday.
“We know that this is not just an issue in the Okanagan; this is an issue that has affected vacation and rental places across B.C.”
#BREAKING Daily #COVID19 update in B.C.:
– 29 test-positive, 1 epi linked case today
– 3,392 total cases
– 142 in Island health (+1)
– 1 new death, death toll is 190 in BC
– 16 in hospital, 3 in critical care
– 2,898 people have recovered in total#bcpoli @victoriabuzzes
— Brishti Basu (@brish_ti) July 23, 2020
Dr. Henry says she is in talks with public health officials in the province to determine exactly how many people should be allowed at these properties.
The number cap will be based on the size of the property in question.
While the specifics of this order are unknown and still to be determined at this time, the provincial health officer says it will be the onus of the property owner to ensure the order is followed, and they can enlist the help of municipal bylaw officers to do so.
This is the second new health order to be announced after a spike in COVID-19 cases in B.C. this week, after Dr. Henry stated new rules are in place for restaurants and bars.
In particular, no more liquor self-service will be allowed at these establishments, which means guests will not be allowed to walk up to the bar and order a drink.
Patrons must remain in their designated seats, other than when they need to get up for bathroom breaks. Large groups visiting restaurants and pubs will no longer be allowed to sit at different tables and intermingle between one another—groups will be restricted to six people.
Dance floors will no longer be allowed to operate at bars and night clubs, and establishments will be required to further control lineups to ensure appropriate distancing.
The province was also originally considering geographical area-specific restrictions for the central Okanagan region, the epicentre of the most recent exposure events, but decided to stick with province-wide restrictions instead.
“This is not just a local issue,” added Dr. Henry. “We are going to continue with our provincial approach.”