The rules and issues around the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve and information changes consistently. Please take note of when our content was written and always go to the sources we’ve provided for the most current guidance.

With gatherings limited to your immediate household, plus six others, here are some ways you can gather safely this fall.

What are the new rules for gatherings?

Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced a new provincial health officer order that limits gatherings in private homes to no more than your immediate household, plus six others. This order applies to all homes for all occasions in BC.

How to gather safely this fall

With information adapted from the BC CDC, here are some ways you can gather safely this fall.

  1. Plan ahead. Try to check in with friends before gathering to ensure everyone is feeling healthy. Starting a Facebook group or email thread is a simple way to do this. If you plan to attend a seasonal activity, like a pumpkin patch or light display, check to see if you need to sign up or schedule a time to visit ahead of time.
  2. Keep your numbers small. Remember that gatherings in private homes are limited to the immediate household, plus six others. The people who come to your home should be in your local, social bubble.
  3. Celebrate outside when you can. Consider bundling up for picnics or a late-season BBQ, visiting a heated outdoor patio, or gathering safely around an outdoor fire.
  4. Stay safe while inside. Try and spend time in larger rooms with more space to spread out. Keep the music volume low so people don’t have to shout over it. Consider playing no-touch games like charades or Pictionary.
  5. Practice good hygiene. Ensure you have hand sanitizer available and wash your hands when possible.
  6. Be safe when it comes to food. Try to minimize crowding and sharing during meals. For shared snacks, provide guests with utensils, plates and napkins so they can have their own servings.

For information directly from the source, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control’s website.

Did we miss anything? What are your tips for gathering safely this fall?

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Where do we fit in?

Yes, we are a provincial regulator and are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation.

About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at