Province-wide restrictions

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.

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Last updated: September 2, 2021

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PHO order on masks in public indoor settings

This content is a summary of the PHO order — Face Coverings (PDF, 308KB) 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 2009 or earlier (12+). 

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

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. 


PHO order on gatherings and events

This content is a summary of the PHO order – Gatherings and Events (PDF, 305KB) 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. 

Personal gatherings

There are no restrictions on indoor or outdoor personal gatherings. People in these regions must follow local restrictions:

Organized gatherings

Organized gatherings have some capacity restrictions. Examples of an organized gathering include wedding ceremonies or funerals. People in these regions must follow local restrictions:

Indoor organized gatherings

Indoor organized seated gatherings can have a capacity of 50 people or 50% capacity, whichever is greater. For example, if the venue has a normal seated capacity of 500 people, 250 people can attend. 

Outdoor organized gatherings

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, trade shows and stand up receptions can return to normal operations with a communicable disease plan. 

 

Worship services

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

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. 

 

Exercise

Indoor high intensity and low intensity group exercise

Indoor high intensity and low intensity group exercise is allowed with normal capacity. People in these regions must follow local restrictions:

Gyms, pools and recreation facilities

Gyms, pools and recreation facilities can operate with normal capacity.

Sports

Adult and youth outdoor and indoor group and team sports 

All outdoor and indoor group sports for adults and youth are allowed. This includes:

  • Games
  • Competitions
  • Practices

Spectators

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. 

Indoor sport activities can have 50 spectators or 50% seated capacity, whichever is greater. For example, if the venue has a normal seated capacity of 500 people, 250 spectators can attend. 

Travel for sport

Travel for sport is allowed. 


PHO order on restaurants, pubs and bars

This content is a summary of the PHO order — Food and Liquor Serving Premises (PDF, 613KB) 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. People in these regions must follow local restrictions:

Restaurants, pubs, bars and nightclubs

There are no group limits for indoor and outdoor dining.

  • Venues can determine their own table limits
  • No socializing between tables
  • No dancing
  • Liquor service hours return to normal

Casinos

Casinos can operate with reduced capacity. Gaming stations can operate at approximately 50% capacity across the sector.


Guidance for visiting long-term care or seniors' assisted living facilities

This content is a summary of the PHO order — COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventive Measures (PDF, 513KB) 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. 

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 should be fully vaccinated before visiting a long-term care or seniors' assisted-living facility. You're fully vaccinated 7 days after dose 2

Safety precautions like visitor health screening, hand hygiene and physical distancing will continue.

When to wear a mask at long-term care facilities


Enforcement

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.