Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health (Colin Smith Takes Pics)

BC has announced new restrictions surrounding COVID-19 ahead of the holidays, those of which could affect some people’s plans for gatherings for Christmas and beyond.

In a press conference on Tuesday, provincial health officials outlined restrictions on indoor gatherings effective December 22nd at 11:59 p.m., which will continue into the new year until at least January 18th, 2022.

Effective tomorrow, no indoor organized events of any size – parties, weddings, etc. – will be permitted, and personal gatherings will be limited to your household plus one other household or 10 people, all of whom should be vaccinated.

These restrictions have been put in place due to rising cases identified as the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which health officials have confirmed is spreading much more rapidly, and is more easily transmissible than the previous Delta variant.

Data from BC health officials shows that there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases in people aged 18-35.

Additionally, the new variant is also that reinfecting people who previously had COVID-19, as well as infecting people who are fully vaccinated.

In addition to the provincial health officer orders, the province is urging BC residents to limit indoor gatherings to those who are fully vaccinated, to ensure proper ventilation indoors, to avoid all travel if not fully vaccinated.

BC averaged over 800 new COVID-19 cases per day over the weekend.

As of this publication, there are now 5,435 active cases in the province.

Currently, the following restrictions are in effect:

  • The province is now requiring all events of any size to scan BC Vaccine Card – the QR code must be scanned at all events
  • As in the past, movement between tables at food establishments like restaurants will be restricted and masks wearing when not seated must be enforced
  • Large events and concerts with over 1,000 people in attendance, such as Victoria Royals games, will operate at 50% capacity.

Starting tomorrow, the following restrictions will be in effect:

  • Bars and nightclubs will be closed
  • Gyms and fitness centres will be closed
  • Dance studios will closed
  • No indoor organized gatherings of any size – weddings, parties, etc.
  • Maximum 6 per table at restaurants, pubs, cafes, etc.
  • Seated events reduced to 50% capacity, regardless of venue size with vaccination checking, masking (concerts, sports games, theatres, movie theatres, etc.)
  • No sports tournaments

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