The Burnaby Board of Trade says it welcomes B.C.'s announcement repealing the provincial mask mandate as well as the eventual end to the requirement of the B.C. vaccine card.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Thursday (March 10) that the provincial order requiring masks be worn in all indoor public spaces will be lifted on March 11 at 12:01 a.m.
She also revealed vaccine cards in the province will not be required as of April 8.
Henry had hinted in the past few weeks such requirements might be loosened after a review from health officials.
“Our approach has always been to only have the minimum necessary restrictions to keep people safe that prevent the transmission, particularly to those who are more susceptible to severe illness with COVID-19,” she said during a briefing Thursday.
Masks will still be required in health-care settings, physicians’ offices and patient contact areas.
But once students and staff return from spring break in their respective school districts, they will have the option of choosing whether or not to wear a mask.
The province is also doing away with capacity limits on faith gatherings and restrictions on overnight child and youth camps.
"We are pleased that the state of the pandemic allows us to stop requiring masks and the use of the BC Vaccine Card, and lets businesses return to more normal operations with the removal of COVID Safety Plans along with things like capacity limits, one-way directions and plexiglas barriers,” Burnaby Board of Trade CEO and President Paul Holden said in a news release after the announcement.
Holden also asked for patience with businesses as restrictions are removed. He also asked for the public to be understanding of businesses and others around them who might still want to wear masks or use other layers of protection.
“People and businesses will move at different speeds, and some people may wish to continue using some of these measures into the future.
"We are asking everyone who is visiting a local business to be patient and understanding of how they may choose to unwind these restrictions."
- With files from Tyler Orton, Business In Vancouver