50-vehicle limit applies to drive-in theatres: Dr. Henry

Drive-ins hit by order

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed Monday her order limiting gatherings to fewer than 50 vehicles does apply to drive-in movie theatres like the Starlight in Enderby. 

The Starlight said over the weekend it was seeking clarification to the order, which came down Friday afternoon, over if the order was directed at just pop-up events or also included established drive-in movie theatres. 

Dr. Henry said Monday the 50-vehicle limit applies to both theatres and special events.

“Yes we have a less risky environment when we have people in cars, yes you can have more than one person in a car, but that becomes a very challenging situation when you have large numbers of vehicles,” she said. “To be able to monitor and ensure that you don’t have those multiple numbers of connections, becomes much more challenging.”

When questioned as to when the rules may be loosened so drive-in theatres like the Starlight could run a viable business this summer, Henry would not speculate. 

“This is what we need to do right now. This is not forever, but it is for this phase,” she said.

“It depends how things go in the coming weeks to months, and maybe we will be at a point come the summer where we will be able to expand things. But I can’t predict that.”

She said rules around public gatherings are being constantly reviewed, but the province is taking a cautious approach.

“We do not want to go back to where we were,” she said.

“It's about trying to have a reasonable approach that we will be able to sustain where we won’t put people at risk over the coming weeks and months.”

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