New COVID-19 public health restrictions take effect Monday in British Columbia, amid a rise in cases driven by the Omicron variant.
Restrictions were announced Friday afternoon by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and will remain in place until January 31st.
They include the cancellation of organized New Year’s events and sports tournaments as well as restrictions on indoor gatherings.
Indoor gatherings will be limited to household members plus 10 guests or an additional household – as long as everyone over the age of 12 is fully vaccinated.
“We need to take these measures until we understand the full impact Omicron will have in the BC context,” Henry said Friday.
“It is imperative that people follow the new orders in how they celebrate this season.”
Henry also announced that the county will step up the scan of the vaccine’s QR codes to ensure that evidence of vaccination is confirmed in all settings.
She also urged retailers to have COVID-19 security plans in place for Christmas Day and shopping events.
SE | Henry asks British Colombians to cut back on holiday parties:
Large events to limit attendance
From Monday, venues with more than 1,000 people will be limited to 50 percent capacity. These venues already required patrons to show evidence of vaccination using BC’s vaccine card.
Over the weekend, several events were canceled or postponed due to the increase in cases.
This includes four Vancouver Canucks game. Home games against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday and the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday were canceled.
The scheduled game thereafter, an away game against the San Jose Sharks, was also postponed, as was the following home game against the Anaheim Ducks.
Ticket holders for the four matches have been asked to keep their tickets as the events have been pushed back indefinitely.
Broadway across Canada staging of Anastasia, originally scheduled for January 18-23, has also been relocated due to the new restrictions.
Other canceled events include the Vancouver International Auto Show 2022, the Vancouver International Boat Show 2022 and a Bryan Adams concert New Years eve.
Restaurants only need to be seated
As part of the new restrictions, diners at restaurants must stay at their tables and not interfere or interfere with other parties.
Organized events will not be allowed and diners will have to sit at their tables – it is not allowed to stand or dance. Masks are also required when not sitting at a table.
In BC’s Northern Health Authority, alcohol serving is prohibited after 1 p.m. 22:00, and nightclubs are closed.
The latest measures do not include a warning against unnecessary travel in the province or across the country, although health authorities say unvaccinated people should not travel.
The federal government has already advised Canadians against international travel over the holiday season.