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Safer Social Interactions

Social interactions are important for our well-being. Everyone can make decisions on how to spend time with others in a way that feels best for them.

Last updated: September 29, 2022


You can choose to interact with others based on your comfort and risk. Here are some things to consider when spending time with others. 

Get vaccinated against COVID-19 by getting all recommended doses when you are eligible. Vaccines are the most effective way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. 

Vaccines are most effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalizations. It is possible to get and pass on COVID-19 after you are vaccinated. Unvaccinated people are still at higher risk of getting COVID-19, becoming seriously ill and passing it on to others.

You don't need proof of vaccination to access businesses, events or services in B.C. You may need proof of vaccination for international travel or for visiting long-term care and acute care facilities. Learn about accessing your proof of vaccination.
 

If you feel sick, stay home. 


If any member of your household or social group is sick, or thinks they might be sick, even if they are vaccinated, they should not be spending time in person with others. 


People who have symptoms should refer to the COVID-19 testing information to determine if testing is appropriate and follow self-isolation guidelines.

Bring hand sanitizer with you when you go out and clean your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Wash your hands before you leave your home and as soon as you return.

 

Wearing a mask in most indoor public spaces is a personal choice.  Masks are still required in some situations like visiting healthcare facilities or on federally-regulated transportation like airplanes or trains. Masks are encouraged on public transit and BC Ferries.


Some businesses, workplaces or events may choose to require masks.


Medical masks, respirators and 3 layer cloth masks are best and should fit closely to the face covering the nose, mouth and chin.


Learn more about masks

Good ventilation exchanges indoor air for outdoor air.  

If someone is infected with COVID-19, they can spread the virus when they breathe, talk, laugh, sing, cough or sneeze. Bringing fresh air into the room helps to prevent the build up of virus particles indoors.

One way you can improve ventilation is by opening windows or doors. The building’s mechanical ventilation, meaning central heating or ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, also replaces the air with fresh air. 

Using additional measures of protection

If you want to take additional measures to protect yourself, you can consider some of the following practices:  

  • visit outdoors or in smaller groups, 
  • meet only with vaccinated people, 
  • keep a distance from people you don’t live with, 
  • wear masks, and 
  • if you visit indoors, keep windows and doors open to let fresh air in.
Think about your own risk. Consider whether you are vaccinated, if the people you spend time with are vaccinated, and if you or a family member may be at higher risk of becoming seriously ill and requiring hospitalization because you are older or have certain medical conditions.

Spending together with others

If you want to take extra precautions when eating out at a restaurant:


  • Pick a restaurant that has lots of space between tables.
  • Wash your hands when you get to the restaurant, and before you leave (or use hand sanitizer if hand washing is not possible). 
  • Opt for takeout and eat outside or at home.

All adult and youth sports including practices, games and tournaments are allowed.

If you want to take extra precautions when participating in sports:

  • Bring your own water and snacks
  • Bring your own equipment and something to disinfect it with 
  • Bring hand sanitizer, or soap and water to wash your hands before and after play.
Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. 

When you pack a bag to go to the gym, make sure to bring items that you might normally use communally. 
  • A full water bottle 
  • Hand sanitizer to ensure you have a way to clean your hands between the use of different pieces of equipment (if hand washing is not possible). 
  • Personal items for use in the change rooms (such as hairdryers, deodorant, soaps, etc.). 
  • Your own towel.
  • If you use the equipment during your workout, bring your own if possible (such as helmets, racquets, goggles, yoga mats, gloves, weight belts, ankle guards, etc.)
When at the gym, don’t share water bottles or other drinks. Choose exercises that keep you in the same spot and clean or disinfect equipment after use – wait for equipment surfaces to air dry naturally before using. 

Clean your hands before and after a workout and use hand sanitizer when transitioning between pieces of equipment.

Clean or sanitize your hands before you touch your face, eyes, mouth or nose.

You may also choose to exercise outdoors rather than go to your local gym or fitness facility. Exercising outdoors, spread out from other people, is the safest option.

As pillars of strength, religious organizations and faith-based worship services play a critical role in connecting the community by supporting beneficial and safe social interactions.

  • There are no capacity restrictions for faith or religious worship services.
  • Mask-wearing is not required. It is a personal choice. Remember to respect the space and personal decisions of people around you.
  • Assess yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 and stay home if sick.
  • Clean your hands frequently. Ensure you have access to handwashing stations or hand sanitizing supplies.

Follow any additional measures implemented by your faith-based organization or place of worship.

SOURCE: Safer Social Interactions ( )
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