With just days until spring break officially begins, BC has amended its province-wide COVID-19 orders when it comes to gatherings.
During a press conference Thursday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the orders have been amended to allow for social gatherings outside of up to 10 people.
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“This means your children can have a playdate with their friends – their safe group of friends – over the March break,” said Henry. “You can meet friends outside, for a coffee, a chat, a connection, a picnic in the park.”
For those who choose to meet with family members or friends, Henry stressed the importance of continuing to keep all safety measures in place and top of mind.
“Meet outdoors, keep your distance, wear a mask,” she said.
People should also not be gathering in new groups of people, but rather should continue to stick to a single core bubble of individuals.
Indoor gatherings and travel
Despite the amendment, Henry said there are no changes to the current restrictions on indoor gatherings. This includes includes bars, restaurants and pubs.
There is also no change to the provincial travel restrictions currently in place.
“It remains the same,” said Henry. “We need to stay local; explore your region, explore your community.”
She noted that it’s okay for cabin or vacation homeowners who are planning to visit their property – where they will be self-contained – to do so.
At the end of the day, however, there are still area in the province “where we have a lot of transmission happening. We don’t want people to travel from those areas, and we don’t want people to visit those areas,” said Henry.
As such, “we really need to stick to our households, stick to our limited travel.”
In follow-up correspondence immediately after the press conference, the province confirmed with Daily Hive that even with the amendment around gatherings, restrictions around outdoor restaurant patios and bars are still applicable, and people should still only be visiting them with individuals from their household (with no more than six people per party seated at the same table), or for those who live alone, their core bubble (a maximum of two people they regularly interact with).