Expiration dates removed for B.C.'s COVID-19 orders around gatherings, events, bars and gyms
The B.C. government has removed the expiration dates on COVID-19 orders limiting gathering sizes, banning indoor events and forcing gyms, bars and nightclubs to close – but it's unclear whether some of those restrictions could still be relaxed soon.
The province quietly updated the orders Monday to remove references to restrictions expiring on Jan. 18. Instead, each order now reads that it "does not have an expiration date."
Health Minister Adrian Dix addressed the change on Twitter Monday afternoon, writing that because the previous orders were scheduled to expire at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, they had to be extended to ensure they would remain in place "until Dr. Henry spoke about them."
However, as of Monday morning, the government’s own website listed the orders as expiring at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 18, from a post dated Dec. 21, 2021.
Dix and Henry are scheduled to appear at a live news conference at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. CTV News will be streaming the event online.
Health officials previously indicated the measures around gatherings and events would be extended past Jan. 18, but hinted there could be changes coming to some of the other restrictions currently in place.
The closure orders for liquor primary bars that don't offer full meal service and fitness facilities have been a major blow to many businesses in the province. A number of gym owners have spoken out against the closures in recent weeks, and several have openly defied them by welcoming their customers back, despite ongoing concerns about widespread COVID-19 transmission.
While provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Friday that the government believes the peak of transmission during the Omicron wave has passed, based in part on wastewater monitoring, she cautioned that many more people will get sick in the coming weeks.
Hospitalization numbers – which are a lagging indicator, meaning trends follow case numbers after a period of delay – are also expected to continue climbing for some time.
BUSINESSES WAIT FOR ANSWERS
The start of a new year is usually a busy time for Eastside Fitness in Vancouver, but not this year.
Co-founder Darnelle Moore said normally by this time in January, they are full of people doing personal training and attending classes.
“We’ve missed that. We’ve missed that whole lead-up period,” she said. “It’s still going to take a long time to get that ball rolling again.”
Moore said the initial order last December came as a surprise.
“Normally, when there’s going to be a change or a closure, or something to do with our fitness industry we’re given some warning and heads up,” she said. “We had not heard anything.”
They quickly pivoted to online offerings, and had a good response. However, Moore said it still won’t be enough to sustain them, and added the provincial grant they’re eligible for is only about an eighth of their monthly expenses.
“It’s a one-time grant, and it’s based on the amount of employees or contractors you have,” she said, adding that they qualify for $5,000 because of their 11-person staff. “That doesn’t even closely cover our rent.”
Jeff Guignard with the Alliance of Beverage Licensees said nightclubs and bars, which were also forced to close, have missed out on critical New Years revenue.
“If we don’t get some good news for those businesses, we’re going to be speaking to government about additional financial support,” he said. “It’s probably never been more difficult to have a hospitality business. So if you’ve got a favourite pub in your neighbourhood, you should get out and support them right now, because they really need your help.”
Guignard said the most recent restrictions combined with “people’s hesitance around the transmissibility of the Omicron variant” has meant that business is down about 50 per cent across the industry.
“We have staff waiting to figure out if they’re going to be scheduled for shifts, and we have to figure out whether we’re ordering inventory,” he said. “So everyone’s watching with bated breath tomorrow.”
Moore is hopeful the order closing gyms will be lifted, and is encouraging people to come back when it does.
“We’re not super-spreaders...all along, most of the gyms that I know have not even had one exposure event,” she said. “Everyone who comes into our space is at least double-vaccinated. We have a really high standard for cleanliness, for personal space...that’s what I want people to know, that it’s safe to come back to the gym.”
Vancouver Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
The police official blamed for not sending officers in more quickly to stop the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting is the chief of the school system's small police force, a unit dedicated ordinarily to building relationships with students and responding to the occasional fight.
Speakers at the National Rifle Association annual meeting assailed a Chicago gun ban that doesn't exist, ignored security upgrades at the Texas school where children were slaughtered and roundly distorted national gun and crime statistics as they pushed back against any tightening of gun laws.
Fifty-eight-year-old Vivian Ketchum is set to receive her high school diploma at a graduation ceremony at the University of Winnipeg next month. It is a moment that is decades in the making.
The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos was met with justifiable criticisms and unfounded conspiracy theories.
An 11-year-old survivor of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, feared the gunman would come back for her so she smeared herself in her friend's blood and played dead.
Students trapped inside a classroom with a gunman repeatedly called 911 during this week's attack on a Texas elementary school, including one who pleaded, 'Please send the police now,' as officers waited more than an hour to breach the classroom after following the gunman into the building, authorities said Friday.
Fragments of a comet broken nearly 30 years ago could potentially light up the night sky Monday as experts predict an 'all or nothing' spectacle.
A new report says Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto rank among the top 20 cities around the world when it comes to work-life balance.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says the federal government is working with groups on the ground to resolve air travel 'bottlenecks' in time for a busy summer.
B.C. speedboat driver arrested with 650kg of meth 'feared for his family's safety,' he told U.S. investigators
New details are emerging after a 51-year-old Alberta man was arrested aboard a speedboat that U.S. authorities say was carrying 650 kilograms of methamphetamine between Washington state and British Columbia.
The emergency department at Port McNeill Hospital unexpectedly shut down on Friday evening due to a staffing shortage.
At least one building was destroyed Friday afternoon as firefighters rushed to a large fire at the vacant Pioneer Square Mall in Mill Bay, B.C.
A southern Alberta man who killed three people, including a two-year-old girl, could have the ability to request a release from jail earlier than his original sentence intended, thanks to a landmark Supreme Court decision Friday.
Calgary Flames fans are still coming to terms with a playoff series loss to the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night in a game that saw both controversy and heartbreak following a Connor McDavid overtime goal.
Western Canada's premiers want to reform their health-care systems by expanding services but they say Ottawa first needs to pick up the phone.
A hotly-controversial decision on whether or not to freeze base funding for police in Edmonton was delayed Friday as fallout from a dispute between the mayor and the provincial justice minister continued to rattle political circles.
A 19-year-old man is in police custody after a shooting near Rogers Place after an Edmonton Oilers viewing party ended Thursday evening.
A shelter many expected to remain open until the end of June in Wetaskiwin, Alta., will close a month early.
WATCH | New video appears to show man carrying air rifle on Toronto streets before being killed by police
A man shot dead by police officers near a Toronto elementary school on Thursday afternoon appears to have been captured on home security footage carrying an air rifle moments before the incident.
A 21-year-old Toronto man is facing a slew of charges following a suspected hate-motivated incident at a Jewish school in North York.
Toronto Pearson International is warning travellers and Mississauga residents they may notice unusual activity at the airport this weekend.
Is it unconstitutional to make someone pay to get a legal document translated into French? One of Montreal's top lawyers thinks so, and pointed out two other things from Bill 96 that he thinks the courts would most easily find fault with.
Canada's highest court has ruled that Alexandre Bissonnette, who murdered six people at the Quebec City mosque in 2017, will be eligible for parole after 25 years.
Quebec says it is ready to vaccinate people who have come into close contact with monkeypox as soon as Friday.
Pembina Trails School Division is confirming to CTV News that a group of students found a body during community cleanup at Ècole South Pointe School.
Winnipeg police are telling people to find an alternate route this afternoon as they are investigating a fatal crash near the St. Boniface Industrial Park.
'It's one way to be creative': Winnipeg student wants to be a bartender when older; school doesn't like comment in yearbook
Bartender. That is what one Grade 4 student said for the yearbook when asked what he wanted to be when he grows up, an answer the school is asking him to change.
Barrett Ross says his dog Indy suffered a punctured bowel, lost a tooth and had his stomach injured when he was attacked by three other dogs.
The Saskatoon Tribal Council's (STC) temporary downtown shelter has been granted an extension to operate at its present location until April 2023 — but Tribal Chief Mark Arcand hopes to relocate well before then.
A pedestrian injured by a vehicle in Prince Albert has died.
Cyber security attacks happen every day, and as Regina Public Schools division discovered this week, no one is safe.
'Very upset': Senior housing residents plead for Sask. Housing Corporation to rebuild after winter fire
Former residents of a Carievale seniors housing complex want the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) to reconsider its decision to demolish the home.
Premiers from western Canada met to discuss healthcare in their first face-to-face meeting in more than two years in Regina on Friday at the 2022 Western Premiers' Conference.
A Cape Breton father is warning the public of the dangers in the area he lives after his teenager son fell nearly 40 feet over a cliff in Glace Bay.
A lawyer for families of victims killed in the Nova Scotia mass shooting says an 18-hour delay in finding five bodies of those murdered is a sign of "deficient" policing.
The lawyer who represented a man who murdered three RCMP officers nearly eight years ago in Moncton, N.B., said a decision made by the Supreme Court of Canada Friday may potentially change his sentence.
Saturday’s powerful storm left a lasting impact across Ontario as city crews continue to deal with the damage. Western University’s Northern Tornado Project reported that two EF-1 tornadoes touched down in London — and on Friday, Environment Canada confirmed it.
A London man is facing impaired-related charges after a vehicle he was driving collided with a gravel truck on Wednesday morning, according to police.
The London Police Service is requesting the public’s help with locating a person of interest after a gun was fired on Richmond Row in the early morning hours of Friday.
Thursday evening, the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce hosted the 25th annual Bell Business Excellence Awards.
On Friday, there was a walk in Sudbury to remember the remains of 215 residential schoolchildren found in Kamloops, B.C., a year ago May 27.
Staff at the new Sault Metis Centre are getting set for the grand opening Saturday.
A man, who was a referee at high school volleyball games in Guelph for more than 30 years, is facing sex assault-related charges.
The Region of Waterloo says there's a high safety risk at a Kitchener encampment and they are working with residents to prepare them for their eventual move.
Two low-cost airlines are butting heads over an agreement at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. Swoop wants to offer flights but the airport already has an exclusivity deal with rival Flair Airlines