Today, the provincial government announced that it will be extending its provincial health restrictions that came into effect on March 29, 2021 at 11.59pm, for another five weeks until midnight on May 25, 2021, and that include:
- The variance allowing indoor religious gatherings and worship services between March 28, 2021 and May 13, 2021 is suspended.
- Indoor low intensity group exercise classes are cancelled.
- Restaurants, pubs and bars are closed for indoor dining. Outdoor patio seating and take-out or delivery is allowed.
- Whistler Blackcomb ski resort is closed.
- Workplaces with a COVID-19 exposure may be ordered to close for a minimum of 10 days.
In addition, to curb transmission across the province over the coming weeks, non-essential travel will be limited to within health authorities. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth is expected to release details of a supporting order on Friday, April 23, 2021.
In response, the BC Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Fiona Famulak, released the following statement:
“It’s unfortunate that the continued high number of positive cases across the province meant that today’s extension of restrictions through the May long weekend was inevitable.
Over the last 14 months, businesses have worked diligently to establish enhanced safety protocols to keep their employees, customers and patrons safe. Shouldering that responsibility for a further five weeks to help curb transmission will come at a further cost to business that will need to be addressed. The BC Chamber of Commerce will continue to advocate vigorously on behalf of its members in this regard and looks forward to working with government to ensure that businesses have what they need to navigate through the next five weeks and towards a better summer.
Meanwhile, all British Columbians have a role to play in the coming weeks to bend the transmission curve. We strongly urge everyone to adhere to the new and extended pandemic restrictions so that transmission is curbed, businesses can (re)open and stay open, and we can all enjoy summer 2021.”