Advertisement

Grandparents who provide essential childcare can spend holidays with grandkids, B.C. minister says

Click to play video: 'Can B.C. grandparents who provide essential childcare spend holidays with grandkids?' Can B.C. grandparents who provide essential childcare spend holidays with grandkids?
Global BC reporter Richard Zussman asks Health Minister Adrian Dix if grandparents who provide essential childcare services for their grandchildren are exempt from the ban on social gatherings during the holidays. B.C. health officials extended a widespread ban on social gatherings with anyone outside of one’s immediate household through the holiday season until midnight on Jan. 8, 2021 – Dec 9, 2020

Grandparents who have been taking care of their grandchildren can spend the holidays with those grandchildren even if they are not part of the same immediate household, B.C.’s health minister says.

Adrian Dix made the comments Wednesday after health officials extended a widespread ban on social gatherings amid a continued rise in COVID-19 cases and blocked people from getting together with anyone they don’t already live with — not even in parks, backyards or restaurants — to celebrate the holidays.

However, Dix said, his clarification was not an invitation for grandparents to start looking after their grandchild now so that they’re able to have Christmas dinner with extended family.

“Absolutely I have heard that question asked, and it’s probably the case that they could,” Dix told reporters. “But I would say, right now: When in doubt, rule it out.”

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: B.C. extends ban on social gatherings until Jan. 8, restricting Christmas and New Year’s events

On Monday, the province extended the ban on social gatherings with anyone outside of one’s immediate household until midnight on Jan. 8, as community transmission of the virus remains high.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Despite that ban, grandparents have still been allowed to care for loved ones as an essential service.

The health minister’s guidance could also apply to other family members who care for a child.

Click to play video: 'Christmas cancelled: B.C. public health orders extended through January' Christmas cancelled: B.C. public health orders extended through January
Christmas cancelled: B.C. public health orders extended through January – Dec 7, 2020

Other restrictions that were extended until January are the requirement to wear mask in all public, indoor places and to avoid all non-essential travel.

“We want this to be a Christmas we celebrate virtually and support one another,” Dix said. “It is for the safety of everyone involved right now, especially the elders, over the Christmas period.”

Advertisement

Sponsored content