British Columbians found out Friday morning that a province-wide ban on social gatherings and events will be extended.
The current restrictions expire at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 6. The health orders prohibit British Columbians from gathering for social reasons outside of their own homes and restrict movie theatres, plays, youth sports and adult sports.
They will now remain in effect indefinitely.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has indicated this week that COVID-19 cases are going in the right direction, but not to a point where British Columbians should ease up.
“It is about being able to do some things at a moderate level, instead of completely closing most places and activities, as we have seen elsewhere,” Henry said.
“A walk with a friend allows you to see each other, to have that important connection and still remain safe. This is the modified approach we want to continue.”
The restrictions also include a ban on in-person religious gatherings. The province has continued to recommend British Columbians stay close to home and not travel unless it is for essential reasons. Premier John Horgan has ruled out banning non-essential travel so far.
The briefing also included the latest round of modelling.
The latest numbers showed there’s concern around the virus variants currently circulating in the province.
Horgan, Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix have all spent the week raising concerns about the Super Bowl on Sunday. The restaurant and bar industry is optimistic the province will not implement further measures that would limit in-person dining.
But the province has not ruled policies to restrict Super Bowl parties if worry increases around the event.
“As we make plans for the weekend ahead, let’s ensure we don’t make the Super Bowl a superspreading day by making safe choices,” Dix and Henry said in a joint statement.
“This is especially important given we are still learning about the full impact of the variants of concern now in our communities. Here in B.C., our curve is slowly moving downward. With each day we keep our wall strong and show compassion and kindness to those around us, we can keep the trend going.”View link »