On Tuesday, December 21, 2021, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer (PHO) tightened restrictions as over 50% of cases in B.C. are now of the Omicron variant. The PHO noted that the U.K., Quebec and Ontario which, all of which are all ahead of B.C., are starting to see hospitalization impacts from Omicron. The province is expanding test capacity and ramping up the booster program, and cancelling all scheduled non-urgent surgeries as of January 4, 2022.
Last Friday, December 17, the Province announced that all retail stores should reinstate and repost their COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plans. These would include measures to ensure customers are able to remain 2 metres apart. The PHO expressed concern about Boxing Day and other sales.
British Columbians were again reminded to work from home where that is possible.
New measures introduced today will be effective from 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, December 22 through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, January 18:
1. There is an absolute maximum of 10 people at all personal gatherings. Dr. Henry encouraged British Columbians to make gatherings as small as possible, particularly when vulnerable people are present. Unvaccinated people are still not permitted at gatherings.
2. All unstructured social events and gatherings are cancelled as of Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.
3. Bars and nightclubs will close.
4. Seated theatre (including movie theatres), sports events, concerts will move to 50% capacity, with masks required, and checking of proof of vaccination.
5. Pubs, restaurants, tasting rooms and cafes will have a maximum of 6 people per table, with 2 metre spacing between tables (or barriers), no movement between tables, masks required when not seated, and checking proof of vaccination.
6. Gyms, fitness centres, dance studios will close and offer on-line or outdoor services only.
For more information, please contact Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (B.C) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Avery Bruenjes, Senior Manager, Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs, at email@example.com.