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
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 nearly 20 officers waited in the hallway for more than 45 minutes, authorities said Friday.
As Johnny Depp's high-profile libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard wound down, Heard took her final opportunity on the stand to comment on the hate and backlash she’s endured online during the trial.
A new report says Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto rank among the top 20 cities around the world when it comes to work-life balance.
Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino will table new firearms legislation on Monday, according to his colleague Justice Minister David Lametti. In an interview with CTV's Question Period that will air on Sunday, Lametti pointed to the advance notice given to the House of Commons, and confirmed the plan is to see the new bill unveiled shortly after MPs return to the Commons on May 30.
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.
For 70 years, Andre Hissink has held a grudge against the Dutch government, but this week, the 102-year-old Second World War veteran’s persistence paid off – the Dutch king granted his wish for a rare dual citizenship.
Canada has tapped into its own strategic stockpile of emergency medical supplies -- stored for a national emergency -- to help Ukraine. It has donated over 375,000 items of medical equipment and medicines from Canada's strategic stockpile since the invasion by Russia began.
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, more commonly known as 'broken heart syndrome' or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, is an actual medical condition triggered by severe emotional or physical stress and is different from a heart attack.
After a six-week trial in which Johnny Depp and Amber Heard tore into each other over the nasty details of their short marriage, both sides told a jury the exact same thing Friday -- they want their lives back.
NEW | 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.
DEVELOPING | Mill Bay mall fire closes Trans-Canada Highway lanes
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.
West Shore RCMP are on the lookout for a missing dog that was inside of a truck when it was stolen from the Langford area on Thursday morning.
Temperatures are rising in Calgary and workers who help make sure pets are kept safe from harm say residents need to be aware of the risks that come with the change of seasons.
Alberta Parks has closed a section of Fish Creek Provincial Park in the city's southeast after aggressive coyotes attacked a dog and its owner.
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.
A 19-year-old man is in police custody after a shooting near Rogers Place after an Edmonton Oilers viewing party ended Thursday evening.
Ground was officially broken on Edmonton's Valley Line West LRT route on Friday.
The province officially started or resumed work on 300 highway projects Friday – worth a total of $1.4 billion – but a shortage of workers and the high cost of materials will have an impact.
Police have released a video showing the arrest of two suspects who allegedly stole a Mercedes – the latest in a string of armed vehicle thefts that has prompted police services in the Greater Toronto Area to create a carjacking task force.
Toronto Pearson International is warning travellers and Mississauga residents they may notice unusual activity at the airport this weekend.
New video has emerged showing the moment a tornado touched down in Uxbridge, Ont. over the weekend, ripping the roof off a local brewery.
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.
Hydro-Quebec is still struggling to restore power to tens of thousands of homes left without electricity, six days after deadly storms hit in Quebec and Ontario.
Quebec Premier François Legault may not have expected quite this type of fallout from Bill 96, but he found himself hammered by questions on Thursday -- about Quebec independence.
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.
On May 2, Manitoba shut down Highway 75 due to rising flood waters and nearly four weeks later part of it is opening up again.
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.
'We will have to deal with the issues': Saskatoon condo residents at odds with city over public washroom plan
Outcry over the planned location of public washrooms caused Tuesday's city council meeting to stretch late into the evening.
Saskatchewan Roughriders rookie Nelson Lokombo is ready to return to the football field after missing the entire 2021 season with an achilles injury.
A Saskatchewan woman’s granddaughter is being recognized for helping save her life and minimizing the effects of stroke after she called 911.
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 Regina family facing homelessness will not be evicted from their government-owned rental unit after it was discovered they owed more than $1,000 in back rent.
An alleged mail theft and identity fraud has resulted in more than 100 charges for a 42-year-old Edmonton man, according to the Regina Police Service (RPS).
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 RCMP is trying to determine who was driving a car near the scene of a double-homicide in Dieppe, N.B., in September 2019.
'We just want to stay': N.S. family struggling to find affordable home may be forced to leave the province
A Nova Scotia family may be forced to leave the province due to the lack of affordable housing units on the market today.
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.
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.
Pat Clifford is the engine that keeps the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Goderich, Ont. running — and it’s for those reasons the soon-to-be 75-year-old has earned the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) has honoured two people from Sudbury for their rescue efforts during last year's rescue at Totten Mine.
A 54-year-old man is facing several charges in Sudbury, including sexual assault, following an investigation triggered by reports someone was trying to traffic a victim under the age of 16.
There’s an increased police presence around four Toronto schools this morning after a 27-year-old man walking the nearby streets with an air rifle was shot dead by police on Thursday.
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.
The Queen Victoria statue in downtown Kitchener is once again clean after it was splashed with red paint earlier this week.