The B.C. government is lifting its proof-of-vaccination requirement for entry to restaurants and pubs as scheduled on Friday, with COVID-19 infection and illness trending lower as the latest virus variant takes hold.
As of April 8, post-secondary residences will also end their proof of vaccination requirement. Businesses will also be able to transition from COVID-19 safety plans to communicable disease plans to reduce transmission of seasonal flu and other communicable diseases as well as the coronavirus.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released the latest data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control April 5, showing that infection rates have remained low since the mask requirement for indoor public areas was removed in early March. With molecular testing restricted to people who are exhibiting respiratory symptoms or at high risk, most new cases and hospitalizations are among unvaccinated people in their senior years.
Data from testing and scanning of wastewater are showing that Omicron BA.2 is rapidly becoming the dominant variant in B.C., and infection rates are continuing low after a surge of the first Omicron variant in December and January. Booster third doses are showing a 50 to 60 per cent reduction in hospitalization for those infected with the fast-spreading Omicron, Henry said, and fourth doses are being offered to seniors and others with compromised immune systems.