Attached are the updated public health orders regarding face coverings and gatherings and events:

  • In the orders for Gatherings and Events – Worship services can be found under Section E, page 14
  • In the orders regarding Face Coverings – Worship services can be found in Section 12-15, pages 14-16  

Again, these are province-wide restrictions (separate from Northern Health Orders updated December 9th) that include:

  • A requirement that worship services must be limited to 50% of seated capacity, unless all the participants are vaccinated, in which case the capacity could increase to 100%.  While the BC Vaccine Card is an option available for this purpose, faith leaders will have the flexibility to design their own system to ensure that all participants are vaccinated, if that is the model they choose to follow. This applies to those 12 years+
  • A requirement that all participants (5 years+) attending worship services, including choirs, must wear a face covering during worship services, including as participants come in to the place of worship and when they leave, until outside  

Mask wear exemptions particular to worship services include:

  • Food or drink consumption as part of worship ceremony
  • When an officiant is speaking, chanting or singing during worship, with physical distancing or barriers
  • If the face covering is removed temporarily to permit a participant to engage in a worship activity that cannot be performed while wearing a face covering, for example, while acting as a reader, singing a solo or actively playing a wind instrument, but not including while singing or chanting as a participant in a worship service or as part of a choir  

Please note: the new orders requires all operators of indoor public spaces (including faith communities) must post signage at the entrance to all indoor areas covered by this order notifying that face coverings are required to be worn in accordance with this order.  

If you have any questions regarding these measures please email: [email protected]