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New public health orders prohibit social gatherings, non-essential travel, exercise classes and more

Dr. Bonnie Henry announced several new province-wide public health orders on Thursday.

Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, a number of new orders have been introduced, effective today and running until Dec. 7.

Those orders include:

  • Restriction on non-essential travel outside of your community;
  • Prohibiting socializing with those outside of your immediate household;
  • Suspending all community-based gatherings;
  • No in-person worship;
  • Maximum 10 people at weddings, funerals and baptisms;
  • Businesses asked to suspend any returns to the office for employees who've been working at home;
  • Suspending hot yoga, spin classes and high intensity interval training;
  • No spectators for sporting events or travel for sport outside of the community;
  • Mandatory masks for all retail employees and customers;
  • Mandatory masks for all indoor public spaces.

Henry noted that the restriction against non-essential travel is not an order, saying it would be too hard to enforce.

However, she did comment that "when we had these requirements earlier this year people took them to heart."

"We are only to socialize with our immediate household, please delay inviting over friends and family," said Henry.

“It is okay to go for a walk outside with a friend. It is okay for the grandparents to pick up the kids at school. It is okay to fix the furnace at your mother’s house. Those are not social events.

"The goal here is to greatly limit our social interactions for the next two weeks."

Public health officials will also be stepping up business inspections across the province to ensure facilities are complying with COVID-19 rules.

Businesses caught not complying with the rules will be subject to fines or shut down for a period of time, Henry also said restaurants will remain open for the time being as long as they remain compliant with limits on capacity and masks for employees.

She also confirmed that transmission rates have remained low in schools.

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