Several new COVID-19 restrictions are being implemented in British Columbia ahead of the holidays to protect hospitals from a surge in Omicron cases.
Beginning at 11:59 pm tomorrow (Wednesday), no public indoor gatherings of any size will be allowed, including weddings, receptions, parties and other events.
Other restrictions include:
- concerts, sports games and theatres reduced to 50% seated capacity, regardless of venue size;
- closing gyms, fitness centres and dance studios;
- closing bars and nightclubs; and
- limiting table sizes at restaurants, cafes and pubs to a maximum of six people per table with physical distancing or barriers.
Officials say the restrictions will be in effect until at least Jan. 18, 2022.
According to the province, the Omicron variant is proving to be more transmissible than the Delta variant, reinfecting people who previously had the virus and infecting those who are fully vaccinated.
“COVID-19 cases continue to increase at a concerning rate, and we must take stronger measures to help protect British Columbians and ensure our healthcare system is there when people need it. It’s a critical time in our fight against COVID-19,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.
The Ministry of Health is also postponing non-urgent scheduled surgeries starting Jan. 4, 2022, to manage pressure on acute care facilities.
The province says urgent and emergency surgeries will continue, and rescheduling will be determined through continuous monitoring of capacity and COVID-19 impacts throughout January and on a regional basis.
In addition to the order that took effect on Mon, Dec 20, the PHO is implementing additional measures to address rising COVID-19 case counts. These additional measures will take effect on Wed, Dec 22 and extend to Jan 18 2022: https://t.co/mDKITBbLFi
— Adrian Dix (@adriandix) December 21, 2021
– with files from Vista Radio national news desk