B.C. to lift most COVID restrictions, but mask and vaccine rules remain
Published February 15, 2022 at 4:56 pm
VICTORIA — British Columbia will drop capacity limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings including at sporting events, fitness centres, restaurants, bars and nightclubs starting tomorrow.
People will be allowed to dance and mingle in public spaces starting at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday but masks and the COVID-19 vaccine card will still be required at organized gatherings like weddings and sports tournaments.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C. isn’t out of the pandemic and officials know the virus could mutate into new variants that may evade immunity that has built up.
Mask requirements, the vaccine card, and restrictions at long-term care homes, schools and child-care centres as well as faith services are expected to be reviewed by March 15 and again by April 12, before the Easter weekend.
Immunization campaigns, including booster shots, will continue in B.C., where 90.5 per cent of residents over age 12 have received their second dose of a vaccine.
The province says it’s ensuring a balanced approach to lifting restrictions, and that individuals and organizations can assess risks and make changes at their own pace, based on their comfort levels.
Henry says B.C. is one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions in the world, and the decisions to lift the restrictions are based on the best science and data on what’s happening in the province.
“We need to be ready to respond to the ongoing waves and troughs as we get through this next few months with our very high level of community immunity, and as we move into the next respiratory season in the fall.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 15, 2022.
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