Provincial and regional restrictions
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Some provincial restrictions remain in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions are made by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) under the Public Health Act. Regional restrictions may be in place for health authorities with lower vaccination rates.
Last updated: December 6, 2021
On this page:
- Regional restrictions by health authority
- PHO order on masks in public indoor settings
- PHO order on gatherings and events
- PHO order on restaurants, pubs and bars
- Guidance for visiting long-term care or seniors' assisted living facilities
Some health authorities have additional restrictions in place for regions with lower vaccination rates. Orders are made by a region's Medical Health Officer.
Fraser Health has restrictions in place for the Fraser East region:
- Harrison Hot Springs
Regional restrictions in Fraser Health (Fraser East region)
People who are fully vaccinated
If all people age 12 or older are fully vaccinated, there are no restrictions on indoor or outdoor personal gatherings at private residences or vacation accommodations.
People who are not fully vaccinated
Indoor personal gatherings in private residences are limited to your household plus 5 visitors or one other household.
Outdoor personal gatherings at private residences are limited to your household plus up to 10 visitors, who must remain outside.
People who are fully vaccinated
Province-wide indoor and outdoor gathering capacity limits and mask orders remain in place, with 3 additional requirements:
- All people must be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination to attend.
- Examples of organized gatherings include ticketed events like sports, movies, plays, and festivals, indoor adult sport, fitness or dance activities
- Organizers must collect contact information from all people
- Events must have a COVID-19 safety plan
People who are not fully vaccinated
People who are not fully vaccinated:
- Can't attend ticketed events like movies, plays, festivals and sports
- Can attend indoor organized gatherings that are limited to 10 people
- Can attend outdoor organized gatherings that are limited to 50 people
You must wear a mask in all indoor workspaces, unless:
- You are alone in a room or there is a barrier between you and other people
- Wearing a mask would interfere with the safe performance of your work duties
- You have a valid exemption
Workplaces must have a COVID-19 safety plan in place as part of the workplace's Communicable Disease Plan.
Northern Health has restrictions in place for all communities.
All people ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated.
- Indoor personal gatherings are limited to your household occupants plus up to 10 visitors or one other household
- Outdoor gatherings are limited to your household occupants, plus up to 25 people
People who are not fully vaccinated can only gather with their own household.
All people aged 12 and older must be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination.
- Indoor seated events are limited to 50% capacity, and masks are required
- Outdoor events with more than 25 people are limited to 50% capacity
Worship services can only be held virtually or as a drive-in service.
Restaurants, bars and nightclubs
Masks are required when not seated at a table.
Fast food restaurants and unlicensed cafés without table service can either:
- Provide take-out service only
- Require all patrons to show proof of vaccination
Licensed establishments, establishments that offer table service, and liquor manufacturing facilities with tasting rooms without full meal service:
- Cannot serve alcohol between 10 pm and 9 am
- Must require all patrons to show proof of vaccination
Bars and nightclubs that do not offer full meal service must close.
Indoor and outdoor sporting events are limited to 50% spectator capacity and must have a COVID-19 safety plan. All spectators aged 5 and older must wear a mask, and all spectators aged 12 and older must show proof of full vaccination.
All participants aged 22 and older must be fully vaccinated.
Non-essential travel outside your community is strongly discouraged.
This content is a summary of the PHO order — Face Coverings (PDF, 440KB) document. It is not legal advice and does not provide an interpretation of the law. In the event of any conflict or difference between this webpage and the order, the order is correct and legal and must be followed.
Masks are required in all public indoor settings for all people born in 2016 or earlier (5+).
- Malls, shopping centres
- Grocery and liquor stores
- Coffee shops
- On public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle
- Clothing and retail stores
- Places of worship, including congregants and choirs
- 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, including all K to 12 students and staff
- Drug stores
- Community centres
- Recreation centres
- City Halls
- Restaurants, pubs and bars when not seated at a table
- Events happening under the Gatherings and Events order
- 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 5
- 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.
This content is a summary of the PHO order – Gatherings and Events (PDF, 480KB) document. It is not legal advice and does not provide an interpretation of the law. In the event of any conflict or difference between this webpage and the order, the order is correct and legal and must be followed.
There are no capacity restrictions on indoor or outdoor personal gatherings.
Organized gatherings have some capacity restrictions. Examples of an organized gathering include wedding ceremonies or funerals.
There are no capacity restrictions on indoor organized gatherings. Proof of vaccination is required for organized gatherings with more than 50 people. Dancing is not permitted. Masks are required indoors.
If more than 50 people are attending, all spectators must be seated at:
- Concerts, theatre, dance and symphony performances
- Weddings and funeral receptions (outside of a funeral home)
- Lectures, presentations and workshops
- Sponsored and ticketed parties
You do not need to remain seated at:
- Conventions and trade shows
- Conferences (except during lectures, presentations and workshops)
- Recreational classes and activities like art classes and choir rehearsals
Private social events in workplaces are not subject to these restrictions.
Outdoor organized seated gatherings can have a capacity of 5,000 people or 50% capacity, whichever is greater. For example, if the venue has a normal seated capacity of 30,000 people, 15,000 people can attend.
Organized gatherings by sector
Fairs, festivals and trade shows can return to normal operations with a communicable disease plan.
If all participants are vaccinated as determined by the worship service leader, there are no capacity restrictions on worship services and choirs.
If participants are not all vaccinated, worship services and choirs are limited to 50% seated capacity.
Masks are required but can be temporarily removed for ceremonial eating and drinking, and by officiants, readers or for singing a solo where physical distancing is observed.
A workplace that has workers testing positive for COVID-19 and public health confirming transmission has occurred in the work environment may be ordered to close for a minimum of 10 days.
For larger workplaces, the closure may be restricted to the locations where transmission has occurred.
Exceptions will be made for workplaces like:
- Courthouses, police stations and fire halls
- Healthcare facilities, schools, shelters
- Ferry system and public transportation
- Distribution hubs of necessary goods such as food and medicine
Workplaces will transition from a COVID-19 Safety Plan to a communicable disease plan. Additional safety precautions are required in higher risk workplaces.
Indoor high intensity and low intensity group exercise
Indoor high intensity and low intensity group exercise is allowed with normal capacity.
Gyms, pools and recreation facilities can operate with normal capacity.
All outdoor and indoor group sports for adults and youth are allowed. This includes:
Non-employee supervisors, coaches and assistants of sports and group activities for people 21 years or younger must be fully vaccinated.
Outdoor sport activities can have 5,000 spectators or 50% seated capacity, whichever is greater. For example, if the venue has a normal seated capacity of 30,000 people, 15,000 spectators can attend. Seats must be provided for everyone.
There are no capacity restrictions on indoor sport activities. All spectators must have a seat. Proof of vaccination is required for all spectators at indoor sporting events.
Travel for sport
Travel for sport is allowed.
This content is a summary of the PHO order — Food and Liquor Serving Premises (PDF, 402KB) document. It is not legal advice and does not provide an interpretation of the law. In the event of any conflict or difference between this webpage and the order, the order is correct and legal and must be followed.
Businesses will transition from a COVID-19 Safety Plan to a communicable disease plan.
Restaurants, pubs, bars and nightclubs
There are no group limits for indoor and outdoor dining.
- Venues can determine their own table limits
- No dancing
- Normal liquor service hours
- Masks are required when not seated at a table
Casinos can operate at full seated capacity, including gaming positions.
This content is a summary of the PHO order — Residential Care COVID-19 Preventive Measures (PDF, 517KB) and PHO order — Residential Care COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information (PDF, 506KB) documents. It is not legal advice and does not provide an interpretation of the law. In the event of any conflict or difference between this webpage and the order, the order is correct and legal and must be followed.
Larger, facility-wide social events or gatherings, adult day programs and in-facility respite are allowed.
- Indoor gatherings may include residents and staff across units of a facility
- Outdoor gatherings may include family and friends
You do not need to schedule an appointment to visit residents in long-term care or seniors' assisted living facilities. There is no limit to the number of visitors for each resident.
Protecting long-term care residents
All visitors must show proof of full vaccination before visiting a long-term care or seniors' assisted-living facility. The easiest way to show proof of vaccination is using your BC Vaccine Card.
Safety precautions like visitor health screening, hand hygiene and physical distancing will continue.
- Before your visit, review BCCDC information for Visitors in Long-Term Care and Seniors’ Assisted Living (PDF, 661KB)
When to wear a mask at long-term care facilities
- All visitors must wear medical masks in hallways and common areas
- You can only remove your mask when visiting residents in their living area if you're fully vaccinated
During a public health emergency under the Public Health Act, the PHO can make orders as needed. You must follow the orders. Some orders can be enforced by police or other compliance and enforcement officials. People who don't follow these orders could be fined.