BC Premier John Horgan expressed his support on Friday for Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s decision to now allow outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.
“I think Dr. Henry looks at all the issues very, very carefully, [and] came to the determination we can relax those items with respect to the number of people gathering,” he said during a press conference. “Dr. Henry does the modelling, and she wouldn’t have made the determination if she didn’t think it was appropriate.”
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On Thursday, soon after announcing 569 new COVID-19 cases had been confirmed in the province, Henry amended the orders to allow for social gatherings outside of up to 10 people.
“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. “We need to focus on some of the things we can do and can do safely, and outdoors is where we need to focus right now.”
People should also not be gathering in new groups, but can 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 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.”