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'There's no margin for error right now': Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines importance of COVID-19 restrictions

"Travelling is what spreads the virus." 
Dr. Bonnie Henry. (via Flickr/Government of BC)

"This is a different game right now." 

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reminds British Columbians to continue following the province-wide restrictions in the wake of surging coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. 

While the restrictions have been in place since November 19, 2020, Henry told reporters in the daily COVID-19 (April 15) briefing that they are especially important now due to increasing cases and variants of concern. 

"The variants are more transmissible but the things that stop the variants are the same," she noted.

"We know that travel and travelling for social connections, for recreation, for vacation, are settings where we've seen transmission happen very rapidly."

And while you can see people outside of you household, Henry noted that "we shouldn't." However, if you do see people "it has to be the same small group of people." 

Additionally, Henry said that anyone who plans on having close contacts should wear masks, even if they meet outdoors. 

B.C.'s top doctor also reiterated a message from Monday's (April 12) briefing: "Travelling is what spreads the virus." 

While travel should be avoided outside of your immediate neighbourhood, Henry emphasized the importance of spending time outdoors.  However, this should be done safely and with people in your immediate household. 

"We know that we can stop this virus...the end is coming but we're not there yet," she said.

"We still have a ways to go together."

Indoor dining restrictions to be extended across B.C. due to surging COVID-19 cases

Restrictions to indoor dining across British Columbia are expected to be extended into May, according to an industry update newsletter from the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association (BCRFA). 

Tuesday (April 13) afternoon the BCRFA, Restaurants Canada and the Alliance of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC) had a meeting with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in regards to the current provincial health order, which prohibits in-restaurant dining. 

"Our conversation has indicated that the current PHO order restricting in-restaurant dining will be extended beyond April 19th through to May," explains a statement from the BCRFA. "This is a result of the continued high number of daily cases and the Province's goal to have restrictions in place that avoid socialization and gathering indoors, for now."

The BCRFA also mentions that they expressed frustration with inconsistency and confusion in regards to patios. As a result, the organization said they would be working closely with officials "on a patio guidelines document which will better outline the requirements for patios and provide clarity for [the] industry."