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B.C. loosens restrictions on outdoor gatherings

Restrictions on outdoor gatherings have been eased slightly across B.C., with groups of up to 10 people allowed, meanwhile, liquor sales will be limited around St. Patrick’s day.

The Provincial Health Officer noted, however, that there will be some stipulations to the amended order on gatherings.

“Your children can have a playdate with their friends over the March break, but with their same group of friends,” explained Henry. “If you choose to meet with your family and friends, remember that those safety measures need to continue and need to be top of mind. We don’t want to put people at risk right now when we know we have vaccines that will protect us in the near future.”

British Columbians will be able to gather in parks, back yards and other outdoor settings, but must continue to stick to physical distancing and other guidelines.

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The changed order will only apply to outdoor gatherings, while indoor gatherings will remain banned for the time being.

“All of the restrictions that we have on bars and restaurants and pubs remain in effect. All the restrictions that we need, and we know work in retail settings and all of the businesses that are open, those we need to adhere to more than ever,” said Henry. “This is slowly turning the dial, this is not flicking the switch.”

With the approach of St Patrick’s day on March 17th, the Provincial Health office has gotten ahead and imposed restrictions on liquor sales.

Alcohol sales for on and off-site consumption must stop between 8 p.m. on March 17th and 9 a.m on March 18th.

“That is really to protect our businesses and protect the people who work in those businesses as well as make sure we don’t have an explosive increase in cases,” said Henry. “We need to save those parties for the summer, because that’s what we’re looking at right now. We can get through this next period of time, and we can make sure that more people in our communities are protected.”

Henry noted that there will be some caveats for full-meal services and when restaurants are required to close.

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