Masks will be optional starting Friday.
Doctor Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced Thursday that beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday, March 11, the province is lifting the mask mandate.
“With the science and our data top of mind, it clearly shows risks are now are much lower. They’re not zero, and we’re not fully out of this yet, but I feel confident that we can safely make some changes,” said Henry.
She added that some people and businesses will continue to use masks, like healthcare facilities, and that should be respected.
“So yes, I’ll continue to wear my mask if I’m on public transit, and I would encourage others to do so too. We know it protects us, but it’s also a sign of respect and protection for others.”
- Long-term care visitation is being restored, but each care home will have its own plan on how to approach this.
- Faith gatherings can go back to full capacity.
- The overnight child and youth camp order is also being lifted.
- Starting on April 8, the BC Vaccine Card will no longer be required.
Businesses will transition from a COVID-19 Safety Plan to a communicable disease plan, and post-secondary residences will lift their vaccine requirement.
Childcare and K-12 school guidelines are also being revised and masks will not be required for kids in K-12 schools when they come back from Spring Break.
Regulated Health professionals will still be required to submit their vaccination status to their college, but won’t be forced to leave their field.
Instead, Henry said there will be informed consent measures for vaccination statuses in place to notify clients and patients if someone isn’t vaccinated.
Dix noted that the age limit for vaccine test kits is also being lowered.
“So those will start to be available for those aged 50-59 starting tomorrow.”
With files from Brody Langager