B.C.’s indoor mask order will end March 11 at midnight, according to the provincial government.
Not far behind is the expiration of the province’s vaccine card requirement, to be lifted April 8, according to a media release by the Ministry of Health.
“Thanks to high levels of vaccination, decreasing transmission enabled by British Columbians’ resolve and the public health orders we’ve had in place, we are now able to lift more restrictions and continue moving forward as a province,” said Adrian Dix, minister of health.
The restrictions are being eased because of a significant decrease in COVID-19-related hospital admissions (from 877 to 391) and 34 per cent decrease in critical care admissions over the past month, according to the province.
Restrictions will also ease on long-term care home visitors, faith gatherings and overnight camps for children and youth.
Effective March 11, face coverings will be optional in all indoor settings, although businesses and organizations can continue to require masks. BC Ferries and public transit will no longer require face coverings.
Faith communities will no longer be required to restrict attendance based on vaccination status, according to the province.
COVID-19 safety plans will no longer be required for overnight camps for children and youth.
By March 18, the number of visitors to long-term care facilities will no longer be restricted, as long as visitors are fully vaccinated and screened. The province said some care homes will make this change earlier than the 18th.
Mask use will no longer be mandatory for K–12 students once they return from spring break.
Though no longer mandated by the provincie, businesses and organizations may continue to require the BC Vaccine Card to access their premises, according to the province.
As of March 10, 93.3 per cent (4,322,690) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, 90.7 per cent (4,204,895) received their second dose and 55.7 per cent (2,580,562) have received a third dose.