(Christ Church Cathedral)

British Columbians who celebrate religious holidays will be able to participate in small, indoor gatherings this spring.

On Thursday, March 25th, health officials announced the one-time class variance for indoor religious gatherings beginning March 28th for up to 50 people or 10% of the worship space capacity.

Until May 13th, religious services will be allowed to operate indoors on four days with COVID-19 protocols implemented, like masking and physical distancing.

“This was selected with very careful consideration for the upcoming holidays for various faiths across the province,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Upcoming religious celebrations include Easter, Ramadan, Vaisakhi, and Passover.

Though much depends on how COVID-19 transmissions persist in the province, indoor religious services may be allowed to continue past May 13th.

The variance may be cut short if transmission escalates significantly.

Earlier in the week, BC’s top health official amended the provincial health order to permanently allow for outdoor religious gatherings of up to 50 people.

“We’ve been working closely with faith leaders to deliver this plan,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry this Thursday.

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