FILE – Jorge Obregon carries a cross during the Way of the Cross procession at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

FILE – Jorge Obregon carries a cross during the Way of the Cross procession at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

In-person religious gatherings can take place outdoors as B.C. COVID restriction relaxed

Service organizers will need to have a safety plan in place and ensure attendees follow the rules

In-person religious gatherings are allowed again in B.C. – so long as they are outdoors and small-scale.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry ammended current COVID-19 health orders Tuesday (March 23), following consultation with religious leaders and others.

In-person religious services have been banned in the province since November, when Henry put in a slew of restrictions on events and gatherings.

Now, organizers of outdoor services will need to have a safety plan in place and ensure attendees follow the rules.

The relaxed restrictions follow a heated few months between government and faith leaders, ending with several B.C. churches losing an appeal to the order in B.C. Supreme Court in early March.

ALSO READ: B.C.’s top doctor ‘thankful’ as court ruling upholds public health orders

Henry has said the province is working on how to begin a “gradual and safe phased reopening of ongoing indoor services” in April.

– with files from Katya Slepian


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Burning will only occur if weather conditions are suitable and allow smoke to dissipate. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Pile burning of 50 wood debris in Burns Lake community forest

Smoke might be visible for Burns Lake and neighboring areas

Tourism update Meghan Olson. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Village of Burns Lake gets a new tourism coordinator

Meghan Olson, a Burns Lake local, replaces the former coordinator

COVID 19 cases in the province between Mar. 28 to Apr. 3. (BC CDC photo/Lakes District News)
No new COVID-19 cases in Burns Lake

Weekly COVID-19 cases decline in Northwest B.C.

Nee Tahi Buhn band
Nee Tahi Buhn Band chief and council removed

Interim council working towards a by-election

The brew master himself, Nathan Nicholas. The family is currently raising money to donate to The Pines. (Submitted/Lakes District News)
Ursa Minor Brewery in Burns Lake hoping to become a tourist destination

A local family-owned business bringing people from all over

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

Most Read