New measures have been announced in BC and will impact bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and gyms, and they are effective as of midnight on December 22.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made the announcement at press conference on Tuesday afternoon, alongside Health Minister Adrian Dix.
- Bars and nightclubs will be ordered to be closed until January 18, as will gyms, fitness centres, and dance studios.
- For restaurants, there will be a six-person-per-table maximum, and this also extends to pubs and cafes. Physical distancing and barriers must also be in place.
- For seated events, capacity is being reduced by 50% regardless of the size of the venue. Prior to today’s announcement, this order only applied to events with 1,000 or more people in attendance.
BC’s other COVID-19 measures, announced last Friday, remain in place. Personal gatherings are still limited to your household plus one other household or 10 guests, but all must be vaccinated.
While early reports suggest that Omicron is not causing severe illness, it does seem to be more infectious than other variants. Vancouver Coastal Health is currently experiencing the most significant spread across the province.
Some positive news from the conference is that health officials say that BC is expecting at least 11 million COVID-19 rapid tests from the federal government by mid to late January.
That was one of the major announcements during a COVID-19 update given on Tuesday afternoon. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix revealed new restrictions and addressed the situation around rapid testing and COVID-19 booster doses.