On Thursday November 19, 2020, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) instructed all individuals, places of work and businesses in BC to significantly reduce their level of social interactions and travel. The order is in effect from November 19, 2020 at midnight until further notice. Some amendments were made in March regarding outdoor gatherings and religious gatherings.
Also, between March 29 at 11:59 pm and May 13 at 11:59 pm the PHO is strengthening province-wide restrictions:
- The variance allowing indoor religious gatherings and worship services between March 28 and May 13 is suspended
- Indoor low intensity group exercise classes are cancelled
- Restaurants, pubs and bars are closed for indoor dining. Outdoor patio seating and take-out or delivery is allowed
- Workplaces with a COVID-19 exposure may be ordered to close for a minimum of 10 days
Masks are required for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces. People who cannot put on or remove a mask on their own are exempt. Employers are expected to enforce the mandatory mask policy with both employees and customers, and a customer can be refused entry or service if they do not wear a mask
The restrictions are as follows:
- No indoor social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble. This means no in-home gatherings and playdates.
- Up to 10 people can gather outdoors. Do not gather with several groups of new people.
- All events and community-based gatherings as defined in the PHO order – Gatherings and Events (PDF) are suspended.
- Funerals, weddings and baptisms may proceed with a limited number of people and a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place. You can have a maximum of 10 people attend, including the officiant.
- Party-buses and group limousines can not operate in any region.
- Indoor religious gatherings and worship services are suspended under the order.
- Religious worship services may be held outdoors (including in open-sided tents and under overhead coverings). Up to 50 people may attend, plus 2 extra people to make sure rules are followed. Participants must be 2 metres apart unless they live in the same private residence and they must wear a mask.
- Employers must make every effort to provide work from home options.
- At this time, all non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of BC and between regions of the province.
- Businesses, recreation centres or other organizations that organize or operate high risk indoor group physical activities must suspend the following activities: spin classes, hot yoga and high intensity interval training (HIIT).
- Adult indoor and team sports are not allowed.
The order does not impact restaurants and bars. Restaurants and bars can continue to operate as long as they have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and employee protocols in place. You should only visit a restaurant with people in your household or core bubble. A maximum of six people are allowed at a table.
Under the Government’s Emergency Program Act, some orders can be enforced by police or other compliance and enforcement officials. People who don't follow these orders could be fined.