The province is bringing new restrictions to the Central Okanagan, after a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases.

The restrictions will impact Kelowna, West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, Peachland, and Lake Country.

They include:

  • mandatory masks in indoor public spaces. People will have to wear them unless seated.
  • masks are also encouraged to be worn outdoors if you’re unable to physically distance.
  • physical distancing required in indoor and outdoor places (e.g., between tables, line-ups, etc.)
  • events should be organized outdoors and not indoors
  • gatherings have a limit of 50 people or 50 percent of the venue’s total capacity
  • bars, restaurants, and nightclubs must have COVID-19 safety plans in place.
  • liquor service can remain at normal hours but people should not be socializing between tables
  • nightclubs can remain open with up to 10 people at a table and seated
  • discouraging non-essential travel to the region by people who are not yet fully vaccinated
  • 3xpanded asymptomatic testing availability

As well, the gap between second doses has been reduced to four weeks, to get people vaccinated quicker.

The new restrictions take effect at midnight tonight (July 28th). 

Interior Health will be increasing enforcement for businesses that have had three or more COVID-19 cases. 

It will also be working with municipalities and WorkSafeBC to ensure businesses are in compliance with their communicable disease prevention plans. 

Of the 185 new cases of COVID-19 reported today, 113 were in the Interior Health region.

The interior also has the second lowest vaccination rates among the province’s health authorities, with 74 percent of eligible people having received their first doses.

Only Northern Health has a lower vaccination rates.