FILE – Jorge Obregon carries a cross during the Way of the Cross procession at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

FILE – Jorge Obregon carries a cross during the Way of the Cross procession at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

In-person religious gatherings can take place outdoors as B.C. COVID restriction relaxed

Service organizers will need to have a safety plan in place and ensure attendees follow the rules

In-person religious gatherings are allowed again in B.C. – so long as they are outdoors and small-scale.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry ammended current COVID-19 health orders Tuesday (March 23), following consultation with religious leaders and others.

In-person religious services have been banned in the province since November, when Henry put in a slew of restrictions on events and gatherings.

Now, organizers of outdoor services will need to have a safety plan in place and ensure attendees follow the rules.

The relaxed restrictions follow a heated few months between government and faith leaders, ending with several B.C. churches losing an appeal to the order in B.C. Supreme Court in early March.

ALSO READ: B.C.’s top doctor ‘thankful’ as court ruling upholds public health orders

Henry has said the province is working on how to begin a “gradual and safe phased reopening of ongoing indoor services” in April.

– with files from Katya Slepian


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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