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


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Fraser Valley Bandits chose Brandon University’s Anthony Tsegakele in the first round of the 2021 CEBL Draft. (Submitted)
Fraser Valley Bandits reveal 2021 CEBL Draft choices

Abbotsford-based club selects Quebec’s Anthony Tsegakele in first round

Among the items that Dorothy Agnew of Abbotsford received for her recent 100th birthday were gifts from the Abbotsford Police Department and a special cake. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford woman receives more than 600 cards from public for 100th birthday

Dorothy Agnew’s family had made the request to celebrate the occasion on March 18

A drive-by tribute is planned for Abbotsford soccer figure Barry Crocker at Bateman Park on Saturday. (Facebook)
Drive-by farewell planned for Abbotsford soccer figure

Barry Crocker died on April 2, tribute set for Bateman Park on Saturday

Rick Hansen Secondary Students deliver free samosas to students and staff to celebrate Vaisakhi on Tuesday (April 13).
Abbotsford’s Rick Hansen hosts successful ‘Virtual Vaisakhi’

COVID-19 pandemic does not deter enthusiasm for annual festival at local high school

Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen recently won a $1-million prize with Lotto 6/49. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen recently won the $1-million prize in a Lotto 6/49 draw. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen wins Lotto 6/49 $1-million prize

Ticket was purchased at Abbotsford’s FreshCo for the March 6, 2021 draw

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
WATCH: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

MP Todd Doherty took to Facebook after his family recently received threats. (Todd Doherty, MP Facebook photo)
‘I don’t run and I don’t hide’: Cariboo MP says RCMP probing threats made against family

Todd Doherty has also notified House of Commons Protective Services

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

An unidentified B.C. man said, in a human rights complaint, that he was refused a contract job after refusing to wear a mask when asked to by an on-site manager. (Unsplash)
Religious B.C. man lodges human rights complaint after fired for refusing to wear a mask

Worker’s claim that ‘to cover up our face infringes on our God-given ability to breathe’ dismissed by B.C. Human Rights Tribunal

This 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 was stolen from Black Creek Motors at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, April 11. Photos via blackcreekmotors.com
VIDEO: B.C. car dealer posts clip of thieves towing a truck right off his lot

Video shows one white truck towing another off Vancouver Island lot

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read