COVID-19: B.C. closes gyms and bars, bans organized indoor social gatherings

Adrian Dix, health minister, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, provide an update on COVID-19 Dec. 17, 2021. || B.C. government photo.
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B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has announced the province will implement additional restrictions to address rising COVID-19 cases.

The new measures include:

-no organized indoor social events or gatherings of any size;

-concerts, sports games and theatres reduced to 50 per cent 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.

“COVID-19 cases continue to increase at a concerning rate, and we must take stronger measures to help protect British Columbians and ensure our health-care system is there when people need it,” said Adrian Dix, minister of health. “It’s a critical time in our fight against COVID-19. Now is the time for us to act, and to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our loved ones safe.”

The Ministry of Health said it will begin to postpone non-urgent scheduled surgeries starting Jan. 4, 2022, to manage pressure on acute care facilities. 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.

The revised public health officer orders will take effect tomorrow (Dec. 22) at 11:59 p.m. and remain until Jan. 18, according to the province. They will be enacted under the Public Health Act.

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