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COVID-19: New health orders include mandatory mask wearing and limits on social gatherings

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Government of B.C. photo

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced new province-wide orders focusing on three areas: social gatherings, workplaces and group physical activities.

Social gatherings

All indoor or outdoor events as defined in the health office’s gathering and events order are prohibited. This includes religious, cultural or community events, with the exception of baptisms, funerals and weddings. These may proceed with up to 10 people including an officiant if a COVID-19 safety plan is in place. There are to be no associated receptions of any kind in any venue.

There are to be no social gatherings at residences with anyone other than those who reside there. People who live alone must host no gatherings, but can continue to see one or two of the same members of their core pandemic bubble at home.

Group physical activities

Businesses, recreation centres or other venues that organize or operate indoor group spin classes, hot yoga and high-intensity interval training will stop for the fall and winter.

Guidance on other physical activities done with a group indoors will need to follow updated guidance that is being developed.

Sports activities can continue, but there is to be no travel outside of communities for games or competitions, and no spectators are allowed. League organizers should continue planning for 2021 with today’s modifications in mind.

Workplace safety

All businesses and worksites must conduct active daily screening of all on-site workers using their COVID-19 safety plans.

Workers and customers must wear masks in indoor public and retail spaces (except when eating or drinking), and in workplace common areas, including elevators, hallways, group or break rooms, kitchens and customer counters.

Office-based employers should temporarily suspend their efforts to safely get employees back to their workplace and support work-from-home options wherever possible.

Travel

All non-essential travel outside of one’s community is strongly discouraged. People travelling to stay with immediate family members should ensure they do not host or participate in any social gatherings.

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