As of July 1, there are no capacity limits or restrictions on religious gatherings and worship services in BC. In the wake of closures, court cases and challenges, this is exciting news for churches across BC! What a great reason to celebrate on Canada Day!
Restoring religious gatherings is part of Step 3 in BC’s Restart Plan.
Step 3 begins July 1, and with it brings a host of changes that signify a return to a normal, pre-COVID life:
- Personal gatherings “return to normal for indoor and outdoor” gatherings
- Masks are not required in public indoor settings (but are recommended for 12+ and who aren’t fully vaccinated)
- Group limits for indoor and outdoor dining are eliminated
- All indoor fitness classes are allowed
- Gyms and recreation facilities have normal capacity
Offices and business will continue returning to the workplace. During this transition back to work, employers are to move away from COVID-19 Safety Plans to develop communicable disease plans. WorkSafeBC released guidelines for the new communicable disease plans. The plans will not require capacity limits, formal health screening, directional arrows and other physical distancing measures (though they may be used during the transition period).
BC also announced that it its health officials will end routine COVID-19 news briefings. It will also lift the provincial state of emergency June 30 at 11:59 pm. It is the longest state of emergency in provincial history.
Although the provincial state of emergency will be lifted, the public health emergency will remain in effect during Step 3. This will allow the ongoing, but amended, public health orders to be enforced. BC has reached almost 70% adult “Dose 1” vaccine coverage and has declining case counts.
BC joins Alberta in leading the way toward removing restrictions on religious gatherings.
Noteworthy is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Every organization’s circumstances are unique. Before acting on the basis of information contained in this blog, readers should consult with a qualified lawyer for advice specific to their situation.