Provincial Health Officer’s order on province-wide restrictions

BY order and direction of the Provincial Health Officer, all individuals, places of work and businesses in B.C. must significantly reduce social interactions and travel. The order is in effect from November 19 at midnight to December 7 at midnight.

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.

* 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

Masks in public indoor settings

Masks are required in all indoor public settings and all retail stores. This includes:

  • 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

Masks at workplaces

Masks are required in all workplaces for shared work areas and areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained. This includes:

  • Elevators
  • Kitchens
  • Customer counters
  • Break rooms
  • Hallways
  • Meeting rooms with more than four people

Travel advisory
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
What is essential travel?
Individual circumstances may affect whether a particular trip is considered essential or non-essential. Essential travel within B.C. includes:

* Regular travel for work within your region
* Travel for things like medical appointment and hospital visits
For example, if you live in Vancouver and work in Surrey you can continue to commute.

If you need to travel for essential reasons, take the same health and safety precautions you do at home.

* Wash your hands often
* Practice safe distancing, 2 metres
* Travel only with yourself, household or pandemic bubble
* Stick to the outdoors whenever possible
* Clean spaces often

Social gatherings and events

No social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble. For example:

* Do not invite friends or extended family to your household
* Do not gather outdoors
* Do not gather in your backyard
* Do not have playdates for children
All events and community-based gatherings as defined in the PHO order – Gatherings and Events (PDF) are suspended. For example:

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

Core bubble
For most people, their core bubble is their immediate household. For others, their 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.

An immediate household is:

A group of people who live in the same dwelling. For example:
* If you have a rental suite in your home, the suite is a separate household
* If you live in an apartment or house with roommates, you are all members of the same household
People who live alone
People who live alone cannot host gatherings. They can continue to see the same one or two people of their core bubble at each other’s homes.

University students
Welcoming your child home from university is okay. This is not a social gathering.

Funerals, weddings and baptisms

Funerals, weddings and baptisms may proceed with a limited number of people and a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place. You can have a maximum of 10 people attend, including the officiant.

Review BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) information on event planning
Receptions associated with funeral, wedding or baptism receptions are not allowed at any location, such as:

* Inside or outside homes
* Any public or community-based venues
* This includes events of fewer than 50 people

Movie theatres

Movie theatres can continue to operate as long as they have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place. These plans include measures like physical distancing, small numbers of seats, cleaning protocols and mask wearing.

Allowed activities
These activities are not considered a social gathering:

* Going for a walk. You must make sure a walk does not turn into a group of people meeting outside
* Parents carpooling kids to and from school
* Grandparents providing child care
Restaurants and bars
The order does not impact restaurants and bars. Restaurants and bars can continue to operate as long as they have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and employee protocols in place.

* You should only visit a restaurant with people in your household or core bubble. Remember, a maximum of six people at a table
* Reservations for private parties that include more than one household or core bubble must be cancelled
WorkSafeBC will be conducting inspections to verify that COVID-19 Safety Plans remain effective. Restaurants that are noncompliant with plan requirements may face orders and fines, and possible referral to public health which may result in a closure order.

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