COVID-19 Diary – Day 252

New Public Health Orders

Today Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced a series of new public health orders, along with the modification of recent regional health orders to now apply to the rest of the province. We will go over the complete list of orders below. While the total restrictions do not constitute a traditional lockdown, as there is no “shelter-in-place” order, and non-essential businesses and services will continue, the below could be considered a kind of “Social Lockdown” if you will. The below restrictions will remain in effect from midnight tonight until Midnight on December 7th (unless further extended).

Social Gatherings & Events

All social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble are now prohibited. For example:

  • You may not invite friends or extended family to your household 
  • You may not gather outdoors
  • You may not gather in your backyard
  • You may not have playdates for children

All events and community-based gatherings as defined in the PHO order – Gatherings and Events (PDF) are suspended. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Galas
  • Musical or theatre performances
  • Seasonal activities
  • Silent auctions

For most people, their core bubble is their immediate household exclusively. In some cases, a person’s core bubble may contain a partner, relative, friend or co-parent who lives in a different household. This should be a maximum of two people outside of those living in your immediate household. Your immediate household is the group of people who specifically live in the same dwelling as you.

If you live alone, you may continue to see the same one or two people (at most) of their core bubble at each other’s homes, during this period of extra restrictions.

Activities: Ok or Not Ok

  • OK: Funerals, weddings and baptisms (maximum of 10 people including the officiant) – NO RECEPTIONS
  • OK: Movie Theatres – Must keep to strict safety protocols
  • OK: Home Services including health care, Hair and nail, cleaning, house repair, tutoring and music lessons, and working with people with disabilities
  • OK: Formal meetings including city council meetings, alcoholics anonymous, and support groups
  • OK: Home viewings for rental or purchase – Must keep to strict safety protocols
  • OK: Going for a walk by yourself or with members of your core bubble
  • OK: Parents carpooling kids to and from school
  • OK: Grandparents providing child care
  • OK: Eating out at a restaurant with your core bubble
  • OK: Dance studios, Martial arts, Cheerleading
  • OK: Attending individual workouts or personal training sessions – Must keep to strict safety protocols
  • OK: Sending your children to school

  • NOT OK: Receptions after funerals, weddings, baptisms or any other activity. Social gatherings indoors or outdoors are prohibited.
  • NOT OK: Party-buses and group limousines can not operate in any region
  • NOT OK: In-person religious gatherings and worship services, use online options instead
  • NOT OK: Eating out at a restaurant with people not in your core bubble
  • NOT OK: Spin classes, Hot yoga, or High intensity interval training (HIIT)

New Mask Requirements

Masks are now required for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces. People who cannot wear a mask or who cannot put on or remove a mask on their own are exempt. Exemptions will continue on the honour system, there will be no certification, cards, etc to signify exemption.

Masks will be required to be worn at all times in the following locations (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Malls, shopping centres
  • Grocery stores
  • Coffee shops
  • Common areas in hotels
  • Libraries
  • Clothing stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Drug stores
  • Community centres
  • Recreation centres
  • City Halls
  • Restaurants and bars when not seated at a table

While this may be an obvious statement, masks do not need to be worn when seated for a meal. Masks also are not mandated to be worn outdoors, in classrooms at school, or in private offices.

Workplaces

All employers must adhere to the following requirements and restrictions:  

  • Whenever possible, employers must make every effort to provide work from home options
  • Workplaces must ensure that all workers and customers wear masks in common areas
  • Extra care should be taken in small office spaces, break rooms and kitchens
  • Daily screenings must be done with all employees
  • Masks are required in all shared work areas and areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained. This includes: Elevators, Kitchens, Hallways, Customer counters, and Break rooms
  • Employers are expected to enforce the mandatory mask policy with both employees and customers
  • A customer can be refused entry or service if they do not wear a mask

Travel

While not a specific health order, at this time all non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province. For example:

  • Do not travel for a vacation
  • Do not travel to visit friends or family outside of your household or core bubble
  • Ski and snowboard at your local mountains
  • Travel for sports games, competitions, and practices is prohibited

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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