British Columbia is forbidding residents who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine from hosting anyone in their homes or attending gatherings in other people’s homes over the holiday season.
“If you are unvaccinated or have members of your family who are unvaccinated, we cannot have personal gatherings in those settings right now,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said at a press conference on Dec. 17.
The move is part of the latest revision to public health orders to “address rising COVID-19 case counts and keep people safe,” according to the province.
Other new COVID-19 measures include limiting indoor personal gatherings to the household plus 10 guests, or one other household, provided that all who attend are aged 12 and above and are fully vaccinated.
This also applies to personal gatherings at resorts and rental properties.
For organized events of any size, attendees will have to present their BC Vaccine Card so that the event staff can scan their QR codes to know their vaccination status before they are allowed entry.
The measures will also impose a 50 percent capacity limit for larger venues that hold 1,000 people or more, with reinforced masking requirements, alongside the QR code scanning mandate.
All sports tournaments will be paused, and organized New Year’s Eve gatherings of any size will be restricted to seated-only events with no mingling or dancing allowed.
The restriction that bans restaurant patrons from moving between tables is also coming back, and the province is stressing the need to wear masks when not seated.
The measures will take effect on Dec. 20, 2021, and extend to midnight on Jan. 31, 2022.
According to the B.C. government, the province has seen the COVID-19 case rate almost double over the past week and has recorded 135 cases of the Omicron variant.