B.C. has some of the toughest Christmas COVID restrictions in Canada | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. has some of the toughest Christmas COVID restrictions in Canada

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Image Credit: PEXELS
December 20, 2020 - 7:00 AM

When it comes to gathering for Christmas dinner, B.C. has the most stringent COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

With a mandatory public health order restricting anyone from coming over this Christmas — even if you're barbecuing and serving guests in the backyard — the province's pandemic stipulations will make many dining tables around the province feel rather empty on Dec. 25.

While Alberta and Manitoba have the same rule, as do parts of Quebec, and much of the rest of the country has tight restrictions on indoor gatherings, the other provinces have a far looser approach to outdoor gatherings.

While the language used by provincial governments surrounding COVID-19 sounds much the same, the restrictions put in place vary widely.

The weather might not be ideal, but folks in Saskatchewan can have up to 10 people gathering outdoors, and even those living in Toronto under Ontario's toughest level of COVID restrictions can still gather with 10 people in the yard.

With different colour-coded zones representing different levels of COVID restrictions, many Ontarians won't be allowed to have extended family over for Christmas dinner, but those living in areas with the most relaxed rules can have up to 10 people in their home for Christmas dinner or 25 if they're going to be outside.

In November, the Quebec government said it was looking to ease COVID restrictions between Dec. 24 and Dec. 27 but later changed its mind as case numbers continued to rise. For most of the province, extended family won't be able to gather whether indoors or outdoors over Christmas, but some regions will be allowed up to six people to gather indoors.

The Atlantic provinces' restrictions vary considerably from Newfoundland, where indoor gatherings are allowed for up to 20 people, to areas of New Brunswick where guests of up to 10 people can only gather outdoors.

Folks living on Prince Edward Island can have up to 10 people around the dinner table this Christmas, as can people in the Yukon.

The Northwest Territories appears to have the loosest rules with gatherings of up to 25 people allowed indoors.

Across the Atlantic, many European countries are easing restrictions over the Christmas holidays.

Although the move has faced much criticism from the medical community, the U.K. will ease pandemic restrictions between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27. In England, up to three households will be able to form a "Christmas bubble" over the five-day period.

In Germany, restrictions are being eased so households can invite up to four additional people into their homes and the Dutch government has said up to three people, excluding children, can visit one household on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Austrians will be able to have a maximum of 10 people from a maximum of 10 households to gather in someone's home.

In Ireland between Dec. 18 and Dec. 27, the country will enter a 'relaxation period' where up to three households can mix and visit each other. The nation's 5,000 pubs that don't serve food will, however, remain closed.

New Zealand's success in curbing COVID-19 means Kiwis don't have to abide by any restrictions over their combined Christmas and summer holidays.

While B.C residents face a Christmas like no other, and with some of the strictest rules around, it appears the majority will follow the health order and keep it small and cozy.

A recent informal iNFOnews.ca poll found 54 per cent of our readers would follow Bonnie Henry's health orders to the letter, while 32 per cent said they would, but with a few tweaks. Only nine per cent of the 4,100 people who answered the poll said they wouldn't follow the health orders as they had too many friends and family to see.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2020
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