At the time of writing, public spaces are back to full capacity, dancing in venues is now permitted as well as mingling in restaurants, and the mask mandate that created a lot of heated debate has been rescinded.
Masks are now optional
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
The Coronavirus Pandemic might finally be ending in the province. After another wave caused by the Omicron variant, case numbers have receded significantly. Out of the blue, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced on March 10 that the mask mandate would end the following day, but the vaccine card is still required in most places until April 8. On March 17, Global News reports that COVID-19 hospitalizations had fallen below 300 for the first time this year. According to the BC government website, 90 percent of eligible BC residents have been fully vaccinated, resulting in many of the safety precautions being lifted.
At the time of writing, public spaces are back to full capacity, dancing in venues is now permitted as well as mingling in restaurants, and the mask mandate that created a lot of heated debate has been rescinded. While it does affect all public places, some businesses can choose to still require everyone to wear a mask either because of their policies or the size of their space. Essentially, this means that wearing a mask is optional and based on individual comfort levels and discretion.
Recently, the mask policy in Douglas college changed from mandatory to optional. Students can still wear a mask even though it is not mandatory, depending on their comfort level.
In the past few weeks, other provinces including Saskatchewan and Ontario announced plans to end the mask and vaccine card mandates. CTV News reports that Ontario will end the mask mandate on March 21 despite some protests.
The UK has lifted all of their restrictions as reported on March 15, by the BBC. On the other hand, China is having a surge of cases of the Omicron variant. The Guardian reports that China has recorded its first COVID-19 deaths since January 2021 on March 19.
After two years of self-isolation and heightened precaution, the world might finally be on track to what it was before the Coronavirus Pandemic.