A woman holding a child walks past an elaborate Christmas lights display in Surrey, B.C. on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel

A woman holding a child walks past an elaborate Christmas lights display in Surrey, B.C. on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel

Drive-thru, drop-off events OK under B.C.’s COVID-19 orders

Travel, team sport and private gathering bans extended to Jan. 8

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has modified her COVID-19 restrictions to allow drive-thru holiday light displays, drop-off gift events and drive-in events up with up to 50 cars.

Restrictions on non-essential travel, sport and recreation trips, adult team sports and indoor events such as fitness and indoor religious worship are extended to Jan. 8.

“I am now excepting from the order, drive-thru and drive-in-to-drop off-and-leave events, where we know that in some occasions, they drive through to look at lights where people do not get out of their cars, or to drop off,” Henry said in her COVID-19 briefing Dec. 7. “At this time of the year, we’ve seen things like toy drives and others.

“As well, we are excepting drive-in and stay events, to a maximum of 50 cars, where people must stay in their cars, and people attending these events should be only their household. And the exceptions must continue to maintain physical distancing, having entry and exit controls and ensuring that there is no congregation or congestion, and people remain in their cars.”

RELATED: B.C. sees 2,020 new cases, 35 deaths over weekend

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Henry said the vast majority of religious groups are complying with restrictions, despite media reports of a few churches incurring fines to continue indoor services.

“I know that there are a few faith groups that are continuing to meet, and that concerns me. It concerns me because it’s a misunderstanding of why we’re trying to put these restrictions in place,” Henry said. “These restrictions are about recognizing there are situations where this virus is spreading very rapidly, and we have seen when we come together and congregate indoors in particular, those are settings where the virus is transmitted despite our best efforts, despite the measures that we’ve had in place for several months, that were working for many months. We are now seeing that those are not enough right now.”


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