"You can say no to the party this year."
What are you planning to do to celebrate the holidays in 2020?
Whatever you do, it needs to be with people in your household, or with friends and family from afar--but remotely.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry underscored that British Columbians are at a very "challenging and risky time" of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which means that holiday celebrations will look decidedly different this year.
Henry announced today that the province-wide COVID-19 restrictions will be extended until Jan. 8, 2021. This means the suspension on group fitness, adult team sports, and all events and social gatherings is extended to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission related to social interactions and travel.
The order is in effect until January 8, 2021 at midnight.
A word on holiday celebrations during COVID-19
B.C.'s top doctor emphasized to reporters in the daily coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing Monday that the province-wide restrictions are making a difference.
"This is a challenging time. I know that," Henry said. "If you're used to having multiple family members come over for Christmas and getting together and having those large dinners together--now you need to do it remotely.
"This Christmas is, and these holidays are going to be different and they need to be different, but we have to recognize we're not alone in this."
Henry noted that people across the globe are dealing with the pandemic and that all social interactions, even small ones, can cause transmission of the virus.
"So, you know, I think, maybe it's okay I have 10 people over to my house. But it's not just my 10 people it's 10 by 10 by 10 with 1000s of families around this province," Henry explained.
"And so all of us have to do our bit right now because we know that that's where this virus is transmitted, and particularly over this holiday period, we don't want to be exposing our loved ones to the virus."
Christmas and holiday celebrations
All December celebrations will look different this year. Celebrate with your immediate household or core bubble.
- Consider hosting virtual parties and religious services
- Unwrap gifts over Zoom or Skype
- If you must travel for essential reasons, review the health and safety precautions
For most people, their core bubble is their immediate household. An immediate household is a group of people who live in the same dwelling. For example:
- If you have a rental suite in your home, the suite is a separate household
- If you live in an apartment or house with roommates, you are all members of the same household
For others, including people who live alone, their core bubble may also contain a partner, relative, friend or co-parent who lives in a different household. This should be a maximum of two people outside of those living in your immediate household.
There are now 38,152 cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in B.C. after health officials announced 2,020 new cases in Monday's briefing.