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Safer Social Interactions

Social interactions are important for our well-being. Learn how you can practice COVID-19 prevention while meeting others.

Last updated: January 25, 2022


Follow public health measures and restrictions


COVID-19 can spread at gatherings and events, particularly when participants are not fully vaccinated. When there is a lot of COVID-19 in the community and with the new Omicron variant, it is important to pay extra attention to precautions that help limit the spread of COVID-19. When measures are used together, they are most effective. Keep social gatherings small and stick to the same group of people to reduce your risk.

Restrictions on social gatherings include
  • Limit indoor personal gatherings at your home or vacation rental to your household plus 10 visitors or 1 other household, whichever is greater. Everyone age 12 and older must be fully vaccinated.  
  • Indoor organized gatherings of any size are not allowed. This includes wedding and funeral receptions, sponsored or ticketed parties and other life events or celebrations.
  • Indoor events at venues can only have 50% capacity, no matter the size. This includes events like concerts, sports events and movies.
  • Everyone ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated to attend events at venues. Use the BC Vaccine Card to show proof of vaccination.
  • Places that do not offer full meal service must close such as bars, nightclubs and lounges that do not serve meals. Restaurants, cafes and pubs can have a maximum of 6 people at each table.
  • Sport tournaments are not allowed.
Learn more about the current provincial restrictions 

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 are required to use your BC Vaccine Card to provide proof that you received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine for some social and recreational events, services and businesses. This applies to individuals aged 12 years and older.

Learn more about 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 is required in all indoor public spaces for people age 5 and up (born in 2017 or earlier). 


Read about the PHO order on masks in public indoor settings.


Follow any additional measures that may have been put in place by local public health or in your health region.

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. 

Keep a record of the people you spend time with in the event someone does get COVID-19. Doing this will help you notify your close contacts

 
  • If you are not vaccinated or if you are spending time with people who are not vaccinated.
  • If you are or if you live with someone who has a higher chance of developing severe illness or complications from COVID-19.
You can take steps to make getting together safer such as visiting outdoors or in smaller groups, meeting only with vaccinated people, keeping a distance from people you don’t live with and wearing masks. If you are gathering indoors, keep windows and doors open to let fresh air in.

Getting together with others

You can dine inside or outside at a restaurant, cafe or pub with your friends and family with: 
  • A maximum of 6 people at a table
  • Physical distancing or barriers between tables
  • You must remain seated and cannot move between or visit other tables
  • No dancing
  • Masks are required when not seated at a table
  • Everyone ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated to attend events at venues. Use the BC Vaccine Card to show proof of vaccination.

Bars, nightclubs and lounges that do not serve meals are closed.


To make eating in restaurants safer

  • 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 sports tournaments and related travel are not allowed. Starting February 1, all child and youth sport tournaments are allowed for people 21 years or younger. 


Other sport activities that normally take place in a sport environment can continue: 

  • Participating in an adult indoor sport or recreation program as long as it does not exceed 50% of the occupancy of the space
  • Participating or competing in individual sports like skiing, swimming or skating 
  • Competing in regular league play for individual or team sport


Learn more about province-wide restrictions.

Money carries lots of germs because so many people touch it. Although there are no documented cases or clusters related to COVID-19 transmission by cash and coin payment, you should clean your hands often if you deal with money.

Here are some easy ways to increase the safety of paying for items when you’re shopping:
  • Try to use touch-free payment methods when possible such as debit cards, credit cards, or mobile phones.
Adult indoor individual and group fitness or exercise activities can resume with increased safety protocols and capacity limits, including: 
  • 7 square metres of space between workout machines or people in a group class 
  • Masks worn at all times, except when actively exercising. We strongly encourage people wear a mask even when exercising 
  • Pre-bookings for drop-in individual fitness where operationally possible
Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and many people during this time are opting to exercise outdoors rather than go to their local gym or fitness facility. Exercising outdoors, spread out from other people, is the safest option. 

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.










SOURCE: Safer Social Interactions ( )
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