Coronavirus: B.C. to lift capacity limits for organized indoor gatherings, events

Coronavirus: B.C. to lift capacity limits for organized indoor gatherings, events
Coronavirus: B.C. to lift capacity limits for organized indoor gatherings, events

When the Vancouver Canucks hit the ice at Rogers Arena on Oct. 26, the team will be greeted by a full house.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Tuesday that COVID-19 capacity limits will be lifted in much of British Columbia for indoor events and gatherings where proof of vaccination is required.

“It (COVID-19) is not taking off in places where we have vaccine card,” Henry said.

“We were seeing it in Northern Health and that is why we put in further restrictions.”

The province will also be removing requirement to remain seated at restaurants and events. But for now there are still restrictions in place around allowing dancing.

Starting Oct. 25, capacity limits will end for indoor sporting events, indoor concerts, theatres, movie theatres, dance and symphony events, and indoor organized events and gatherings. Organized events include wedding receptions, organized parties and conferences.

“You go in and experience in the way that is safest for everyone. I am confident this will be a measure that will not increase risk and we will monitor it over time,” Henry said.

Capacity limits of 50 per cent will remain in place in the Eastern Fraser Health and Northern Health regions.

Those regions, which include Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Prince George, have lower rates of immunization and higher rates of COVID-19 spread.

The indoor mask requirement will remain in effect at all venues.

The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade says capacity restrictions have had a profound impact on the province’s hospitality and tourism sector as well as the entertainment and event industries.

“Increased capacity at indoor sporting events, weddings and entertainment venues will bring back jobs in some of our hardest hit sectors and inspire consumer confidence,” board president Bridgitte Anderson said.

“Relaxing capacity restrictions on indoor gatherings where proof of vaccination status is checked is evidence that the hard work of British Columbians is paying off and we can look forward to safely re-connecting in larger numbers.”

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