Health officials believe faster spreading variants of coronavirus are the reason for an alarming surge in cases. To curb the rise, there will be new COVID-19 restrictions in BC.
Restrictions in BC
The government’s new measures include:
- A ban on indoor dining at restaurants.
- The closure of the famous ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb.
Officials expect both restrictions to be in place for the next three weeks. The new rule will start at midnight on Monday. However, the government still allows open space dining and takeout.
BC set a new record of 936 coronavirus cases in one day. In response to the surge, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the stricter rules on Monday. He believes indoor social gatherings and traveling could be the reason for the recent surge.
“In the last six days, we’ve seen the start of exponential growth in new cases. We’ve seen more hospitalizations and more people requiring critical care, and the strain on our acute care system is ramping up. We do not yet have enough people protected with our vaccines to keep our loved ones and our communities safe,” Henry said.
The rules regarding fitness classes will stay in effect until April 19. However, one-on-one fitness classes can continue. Across the province, school students in grades four up until twelve will have to wear face masks. For children in kindergarten up to Grade 3, masks are not mandatory. The province still allows outdoor religious gatherings with several limits.
Henry is urging employees to work from home. He also encourages British Columbians to only travel for essential reasons.
“We know that people have taken advantage of the weather and the March break to go places with their family, and what that has meant is that we’ve seen a rapid rise of cases of people have returned to their home communities,” Henry said. In the meantime, BC continues an accelerated immunization program.