Gyms and fitness centres are allowed to reopen!
B.C. health officials have updated their COVID-19 restrictions across the province, including the gradual reopening of gyms and fitness centres.
On Tuesday, January 18, provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that gyms and fitness facilities can reopen starting January 20, based on strict COVID-19 safety plans.
Dr. Henry said safety measures include capacity limits and B.C. vaccine card requirements, adding: "They [gym operators] did what we asked to protect their workers and gym community."
All other restrictions, including the 50% capacity limit for all venues and keeping bars and clubs closed, will remain in place until at least February 16, 2022.
Some businesses in January refused to comply with the restrictions by keeping their doors open, including Iron Energy Gym in West Kelowna which said that they would not be closing their doors, arguing that gyms are essential for people's mental health.
The orders in B.C. were put in place in an attempt to control a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant.
Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that the Omicron variant could accelerate the pandemic process, meaning that the province could move to an endemic status in the spring.
Endemic means that the virus would have a constant presence in society, similar to what malaria or flu has.
Dr. Henry also apologized for the confusion after some orders expired at 12.01 a.m. on January 18. She said that was a mistake on the province's part, adding that the orders should have been in place until 11.59 p.m. on January 18 so that she could update the public at the press conference before the orders expires.
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