B.C. orders three-week circuit breaker closures
The B.C. government this afternoon reported that to address rising COVID-19 case counts, protect people and communities and help break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, the provincial health officer is amending the provincial public health orders effective midnight tonight, March 30.
New and amended orders and guidelines are in effect through April 19, and include:
* For restaurants, bars and pubs, all food and liquor-serving premises must only provide take-out or delivery service. Dine-in service is prohibited, except for outdoor patios. People dining on patios should do so with their immediate household or core bubble.
* Indoor, adult group fitness activities of any kind are also paused. Gyms and fitness centres are restricted to individual or one-on-one activities only i.e. one-on-one personal training.
* The previously announced class variance for limited indoor worship services has been suspended. Outdoor worship services under the current variance may continue.
* Travel continues to be limited to essential travel, work or medical reasons only. For those who have travelled outside their health region, if you or anyone in your family develops any signs of illness, you must stay home from work, school or daycare, and arrange to get tested immediately.
* All workers are strongly encouraged to work from home, where possible.
* Public health guidance for schools has also been amended to support and encourage students down to Grade 4 to wear masks while at school.
“COVID-19 continues to create challenges for people and businesses throughout B.C., and we are grateful for the sacrifices people continue to make to keep one another safe,” said Premier John Horgan. “We know that the idea of more restrictions is not welcome news, but we are asking people to rise to the challenge with the confidence that vaccines mean better days are ahead. We are not out of the woods yet, but the provincial health officer’s orders, combined with our vaccines, give us the tools we need to move out of this pandemic together.”
“Rising case levels, variants of concern, increased transmission and an increase in more severe cases are huge concerns,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “B.C. public health officials are making the tough choices now to break the chain and protect our communities.”
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, said: “Social connection is important, and so is keeping our loved ones and ourselves safe. We all have a choice – to stay safe or put our loved ones, our friends and ourselves at risk, which is why non-essential activities need to be limited and need to be outside with the same small number of people. The sacrifices we make today will help all of us to get through this storm.”