Vancouver holiday events face uncertainty amid new COVID-19 restrictions

Vancouver holiday events face uncertainty amid new COVID-19 restrictions

Some major Lower Mainland holiday events are scrambling for clarity about whether and how they’ll be able to operate under B.C.’s new COVID-19 restrictions.

The sweeping health order was unveiled Thursday, amid rising COVID-19 cases driven by spikes in transmission in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

The order banned social gatherings of any type province-wide, and restricted community events until Dec. 7.

Read more: Coronavirus: How will British Columbia’s new mask requirement be enforced?

On Friday, uncertainty around the order prompted the Pacific National Exhibition to hit pause on the Best Buy Tech Wonderland drive-through event.

Spokesperson Laura Balance said the PNE is seeking clarity from the province and Vancouver Coastal Health about the event and the upcoming WinterLights drive-through.

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Balance said she was “cautiously optimistic” the event would still get the green light, given the PNE’s prior success with events during the pandemic.

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“Since early in the summer, the PNE has really led the country in drive-through experiences, ones that adhere to all social distancing protocols and are developed under the oversight, and really adhering to all the best practices recommended by all of the health authorities,” she said.

Read more: B.C. reports 516 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths and rising hospitalizations

Visitors to the event will be required to stick to their household bubble, and stay in their vehicle at all times, she said.…

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