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Provincial and regional restrictions

Provincial and regional restrictions

The following provincial and regional restrictions are in place in the Interior region to stop the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions are made by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and Interior Health Medical Health Officers under the Public Health Act.

You now need proof of vaccination to access some events, services and businesses with the BC Vaccine Card.

Masks in public indoor settings

Masks are required in all indoor public spaces for people 12 years and older.

This includes:

  • Malls, shopping centres
  • Grocery and liquor stores
  • Airports
  • Coffee shops
  • On public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle
  • Libraries
  • Clothing and retail stores
  • Areas of office buildings where services to the public are provided
  • Common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity
  • Common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations
  • Inside schools for all K to 12 staff, visitors and students in grades 4 to 12
  • Drug stores
  • Community centres
  • Recreation centres
  • City Halls
  • Restaurants, pubs and bars when not seated at a table

Masks are required in schools for all K to 12 staff, visitors and students in grades 4 to 12

There are exemptions for:

  • People with health conditions or with physical, cognitive or mental impairments who cannot wear one
  • People who cannot remove a mask on their own
  • Children under the age of 12
  • People who need to remove their masks to communicate due to another person’s hearing impairment

A face shield is not a substitute for a mask as it has an opening below the mouth.

Note: The order will be reassessed when proof of vaccination and B.C.’s vaccine card are fully implemented. 

Schools

In addition to the BCCDC guidance for K-12 schools, Interior Health has recommended three additional measures for Interior Region schools due to higher COVID-19 cases across the region:

    • Indoor assemblies are limited to 50 people or two classes (whatever is larger), in a single space
    • Visitors entering the school should be limited to those supporting activities that are of benefit to student learning and well-being (e.g., teacher candidates, immunizers, meal program volunteers, etc.)
    • Extracurricular school sport events and social activities:
      • Proof of vaccination is not required for spectators at indoor events with less than 50 people and outdoor events with less than 100 people. Proof of full vaccination (two doses) is required for events that exceed these capacity limits.
      • Players, coaches and volunteers on the field of play do not require proof of vaccination.

Personal gatherings

  • Indoor personal gatherings are limited to the occupants plus five guests or one other household.
  • Gatherings in vacation rentals are limited to the occupants (or renters) plus five guests or one other household.
  • Outdoor personal gatherings (e.g., birthday parties, backyard BBQs) are limited to no more than 50 people.

Organized events

Indoor Events

  • Indoor organized events can have a capacity of 50 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity (whichever is greater) with proof of full vaccination (two doses).
  • Indoor organized events less than 50 people do not require proof of vaccination, but contact information (name and phone number) of all attendees must be collected and retained for 30 days.

Outdoor Events

  • Outdoor organized events can have a capacity of 5,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity (whichever is greater) with proof of full vaccination (two doses).
  • Outdoor organized events less than 100 people do not require proof of vaccination.

There are no capacity limits or restrictions on indoor or outdoor worship services.

Exercise

High-intensity group exercise is now permitted, provided all participants and instructors are fully vaccinated with two doses.

Low-intensity group exercise, gyms and fitness/dance studios require proof of vaccination (minimum one dose) until Oct. 24, 2021 as per the requirements of the BC Vaccine Card after which two doses will be required.

Exercise that generally results in significantly increased respiration rates is considered high intensity, while exercise that does not result in significantly increased respiration rates is considered low intensity.

The list of activities are examples of low and high intensity activities. Gym, studio, and fitness centre operators should use best judgement in identifying the intensity of group exercise.

Low intensity exercise

  • Barre (lower intensity classes)
  • Exercise machines/cardio equipment (low intensity)
  • Light weightlifting
  • Pilates (lower intensity classes)
  • Stretching
  • Tai-Chi
  • Yoga (hatha)

High intensity exercise

  • Aerobics
  • Barre (high intensity/cardio classes)
  • Boot camp
  • Bodybuilding / heavy weightlifting
  • Circuit training
  • CrossFit (high intensity activities/classes)
  • Dance fitness (Zumba and similar)
  • Exercise machines/cardio equipment (high intensity)
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • Kickboxing (Tai Bo and similar)
  • Spin
  • Yoga (hot, power)

Masks

Masks are required in common areas of sports and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity.

 

Sports

  • Youth sports participants (up to 22 years old) are exempt from proof of vaccination.
  • Sports participants over 22 years, must show proof of full vaccination (2 doses).
  • Officials, coaches and volunteers on the field of play are exempt from proof of vaccination for all age groups.
  • Spectators for ticketed sports events (youth and adult) require proof of full vaccination (2 doses)
  • Spectators for non-ticketed events (i.e. hockey practice) do not require proof of vaccination.

Restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs and casinos

Provincial COVID-19 restrictions 

  • Venues can determine their own table limits
  • No socializing between tables
  • No dancing
  • Liquor service hours return to normal
  • Casinos can operate with reduced capacity. Gaming stations can operate at approximately 50% capacity across the sector

Travel

At this time, non-essential travel to or from the Interior remains discouraged until individuals are fully vaccinated.