British Columbians’ COVID-19 efforts allow easing of restrictions

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British Columbia’s provincial health officer is easing COVID-19 restrictions while maintaining key protective measures to support the health and safety of all British Columbians.

While keeping the BC Vaccine Card, indoor masking requirements and COVID-19 safety plans in place, the provincial health officer will lift restrictions on personal gatherings, organized gatherings and events, nightclubs, bars and restaurants, exercise and fitness, and adult sports tournaments as of Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time). Capacity limits will return to normal.

“The last two years have challenged us like never before. But British Columbians have shown we can overcome anything if we work together,” said Premier John Horgan. “By following the science and looking out for each other, we are now in a position to carefully ease many COVID-19 restrictions. Our balanced, common-sense approach is based on the best advice from Dr. Henry – it will allow us to get back to many of the things we love and businesses to operate safely.”

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, said: “Every moment of every day in our experience with COVID-19, British Columbians have made the difference that matters. Because of the difference we’ve all made and continue to make – getting vaccinated, following public-health measures and treating one another with respect, B.C. is proceeding with this balanced approach in easing restrictions.”

With more than 90% of eligible B.C. residents vaccinated with their second dose, British Columbia will transition to a sustainable COVID-19 management plan focusing on vaccination, self-monitoring and specific actions to protect those most at risk. The decision to ease restrictions is based on a careful review of data by the provincial health officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control.

“These changes are taking effect after careful review of where we are in this pandemic, and the credit goes to all British Columbians for their action to protect themselves, their families and their communities,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “We will continue to rely on what is happening in B.C., science and evidence to guide our next steps in this journey to protect people from COVID-19 while safely easing restrictions.”

Based on hospitalization and critical care rates over the coming days and weeks, the provincial health officer will review the remaining protective measures by March 15, and again by April 12.