A skier wears a face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the first day of the downhill ski season at Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver, B.C. Friday, November 13, 2020. Recreational travel has been suspended across B.C. until at least Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS

A skier wears a face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the first day of the downhill ski season at Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver, B.C. Friday, November 13, 2020. Recreational travel has been suspended across B.C. until at least Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS

COVID-19: B.C. extends private gathering ban province-wide

Recreational travel, religious service also banned until Dec. 7

B.C.’s ban on private gatherings in the Lower Mainland has been extended province-wide and will continue for another two weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

Social, recreational, sports and vacation trips are off across the province, and indoor exercise classes such as spin, interval training and hot yoga are also suspended everywhere in B.C.

Another public health order shuts down in-person religious services until at least Dec. 7, after they have been allowed to operate under the 50-person limit in recent months. Exceptions are allowed for weddings, funerals or baptisms with a maximum of 10 people present, and no receptions afterward. Daycares, addiction support meetings and other activities in church, gurdwara or temple buildings are allowed to continue, as are social service visits to homes by religious organizations.

The two-week duration of the province-wide order is to slow a rapid growth in coronavirus infections that has gone past 700 a day this week. “We may need to extend that,” Henry said Nov. 19. “That’s one incubation period.”

Henry said the intent of the province-wide private residence restriction is to only socialize with those in your immediate household for the next two weeks.

“It is OK to go for a walk outside with a friend,” she said. “It’s OK to make sure that your grandparents pick up the kids at school, or that you’re able to fix the furnace in your mother’s house. Those are not social gatherings and social events.”

RELATED: More senior home protection needed, industry group says

RELATED: Masks now mandatory in B.C. indoor public, retail spaces

Spectators at indoor or outdoor sporting events are also banned until the end of December, and all travel outside communities associated with sports is suspended. Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said the orders are designed to target areas of rapid virus spread, and businesses such as gyms and pubs will see stepped up inspections to check on their safety measures.

Patrons at restaurants and pubs are expected to wear masks when they are away from their tables, such as to go to washrooms. Henry said pubs and bars are a particular concern, after alcohol sales were restricted to 10 p.m.

“If you are thinking of skiing, go to a local mountain,” Henry said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by former Saanich resident surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Athletes with Fairway Gorge Paddling Club’s open men’s staff head out on a high-tech outrigger canoe. The club raised more than $16,500 at its 2020 Wetdasche event. (Courtesy of Fairway Gorge Paddling Club)
Victoria paddling group breaks fundraising record

Fairway Gorge Paddling Club’s 2020 Wetdashe event raises more than $16,500

Greater Victoria 4-H club member Sava Bell is all smiles holding some of the garden fresh ingredients he used to make his award-winning dish for the Field to Fork Challenge. (Courtesy Agriculture in the Classroom)
Greater Victoria 4-H members among winners in provincewide cooking competition

Field to Fork Challenge encourages B.C. youth to prepare healthy, local foods

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Saanich Peninsula Hospital

Hospital is second Greater Victoria facility to report an outbreak this week

Sipili Molia, regional kettle manager, shows off the Salvation Army’s new contactless donation system for the 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign outside municipal hall on Dec. 1. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Tech offers hope as Salvation Army sees need skyrocket across B.C.

Charity is equipping hundreds of kettles across B.C. with ‘touchless giving technology’

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Most Read