[BCMA] Province introduces new COVID-19 measures

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Fri Dec 17 14:02:17 PST 2021

*Province introduces new COVID-19 measures for safer holiday season*

VICTORIA – To address rising COVID-19 case counts and keep people safe, the
provincial health officer is issuing revised orders, which take effect on
Monday, Dec. 20, 2021.

Measures will extend to Jan. 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m., and include:

   - limiting indoor, personal gatherings, including in rental and vacation
   properties to the household/residents plus 10 individuals, or one
   additional household maximum if all are aged 12 and older are fully
   - requiring the BC Vaccine Card for organized events of all sizes and
   ensuring the QR code is scanned at events;
   - seating requirements and restricting movement between tables at food
   and liquor-serving premises, and reinforcing the need to wear masks when
   not seated;
   - limiting venues of 1,000 individuals or more to 50% of the seated
   capacity with reinforced masking requirements and scanning of the BC
   Vaccine Card QR code;
   - pausing all sports tournaments while the order is in effect; and
   - all New Year’s Eve organized gatherings and events will be restricted
   to being seated-only events, with no mingling or dancing allowed.

The provincial health officer is also emphasizing the need for retail
stores to have COVID-19 safety plans in place for holiday and Boxing Day

“These measures will help us to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the
ones we care about,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Slowing the
spread and keeping each other safe is a cause in which we are all
connected. It’s that togetherness that will get all of us through the next
days and weeks.”

B.C.’s COVID-19 case rate has nearly doubled over the past week. So far,
there have been 135 cases of the Omicron variant of concern identified in
B.C., with numbers expected to rise rapidly. While public health continues
to monitor the impacts of Omicron, including severity of illness and
hospitalizations, the recommendation is to take a cautious approach at this

“While vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19, we are now
dealing with the new threat of a more transmissible variant,” said Dr.
Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “We need to take these measures
until we understand the full impact Omicron will have in the B.C. context.
It is imperative people follow the new orders in how they celebrate this
season. However, there are many things we can now do safely with reasonable
and prudent measures like wearing a mask, staying home when sick, getting
tested and, most importantly, getting fully vaccinated.”

In addition to the provincial health officer orders, British Columbians are
advised to limit indoor gatherings to those who are fully vaccinated, to
ensure proper ventilation indoors, to avoid all travel if not fully
vaccinated and to follow the travel advisory issued by the federal
government to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada.

The updated orders will be enacted under the Public Health Act.

*Quick Facts:*

   - To date, evidence indicates Omicron is more transmissible than other
   variants of COVID-19; however, there is limited evidence to date on
   severity of illness.
   - B.C. has a vaccination rate of 86.8% for all eligible age groups for a
   first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 82.5% for a second dose.
   - The Province announced its full booster dose campaign on Oct. 26, 2021.
   - Vaccination remains the most effective protection from severe illness.
      - From Dec. 8-14, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 46.3% of
      cases in B.C., and from Dec. 1-14, accounted for 70.2% of

*Learn More:*

For the provincial health officer’s orders and guidance, visit:

For regional restrictions by health authority, visit:

Latest modelling: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/12.14.21_PHO_modelling.pdf

To register to be vaccinated, visit:

Booster link: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/booster

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children: gov.bc.ca/vaccineforkids

To learn about the BC Vaccine Card and how to access yours, visit:

Detailed data is posted daily on the BCCDC dashboard:

The latest updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a
testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/. Or follow @CDCofBC on

For COVID-19 exposure events, updates and information, visit:


Ministry of Health
Media Relations
250 952-1887 (media line)
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