(File photo)

BC residents will have to put up with COVID-19 restrictions a little longer.

On Monday, January 17th, BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry quietly issued a new order stating that due to the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19 and the burden currently faced by the health-care system, the current restrictions will remain in place indefinitely.

The order extends restrictions that were set to expire at midnight tonight, this includes:

  • Indoor personal gatherings, including in rental and vacation properties are now limited to one household plus 10 other individuals, or one additional household, but only if all in attendance fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated people should not be permitted
  • 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.
  • All sports tournaments in BC are to be suspended

In addition, the following businesses must remain closed:

  • gyms, fitness and adult dance centres
  • bars, lounges and nightclubs
  • event venues that can no longer hold events

In the original order on December 22nd, the province urged BC residents to limit indoor gatherings to those who are fully vaccinated, to ensure proper ventilation indoors, and to avoid all travel if not fully vaccinated.

Religious services must follow the following orders:

  • A faith community may use up to 100% of the seated capacity of a place for a worship
    service if the officiant and all participants over the age of 11 years are vaccinated
  • A faith community may use up to 50% of the seated capacity of a place for a worship
    service if the officiant or any of the participants over the age of 11 years is not
    vaccinated

Adrian Dix responded to this new information stating that the public will be updated on the PHO order tomorrow during the government’s scheduled conference, and that the updated order was made to ensure it remained in place until then.

The new order did not have an expiration date, meaning the restrictions will remain in place indefinitely.

👋 Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every weekday.