Christmas celebrations will look a lot different in B.C. this year, as COVID-19 restrictions will prevent many families from getting together over the holidays.
The restrictions announced this month by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prohibit gatherings and events as well as meeting up with people outside of your immediate household, and continue until midnight on Jan. 8. People who live alone may form a bubble with another unit, but all others are being asked to stick to their immediate household.
COVID-19 cases have declined in recent days, with only 444 cases reported in B.C. on Dec. 22. It’s the lowest number of new daily COVID-19 cases in nearly two months and less than half of the high of 946 cases reached on Nov. 23.
While fewer people may be gathered around the dinner table this Christmas, the COVID-19 restrictions aren’t preventing some people from getting together, with large crowds reported at many B.C. ski hills.
Premier John Horgan has called on workplace inspectors, community bylaw staff and conservation officers to help police enforce public behaviour through the holiday season.
Horgan appealed to enforcement officials last week to help “redouble our efforts” to hold B.C.’s coronavirus infection rate down as vaccine distribution starts.
“That means holding rule-breakers accountable. That means ensuring that the fines we levy are collected. Certainly everyone has a right to appeal, everyone has a right to due process, but once that due process has been finalized, if you do not pay the fines, we will send collections after you.”
Fines of up to $2,300 have been assessed to people hosting house parties in defiance of public health orders, and people have rallied against the requirement for masks in indoor public areas and businesses.
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