Grandparents who provide essential childcare can spend holidays with grandkids, B.C. minister says

© Provided by Global News Health Minister Adrian Dix looks during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday May 6, 2020. British Columbia's health minister says the province has hired more staff and increased operating-room hours to catch up on cancelled surgeries but a significant surge in COVID-19 cases could impact recovery. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Grandparents who have been taking care of their grandchildren can spend the holidays with those grandchildren even if they are not part of the same immediate household, B.C.’s health minister says.

Adrian Dix made the comments Wednesday after health officials extended a widespread ban on social gatherings amid a continued rise in COVID-19 cases and blocked people from getting together with anyone they don’t already live with — not even in parks, backyards or restaurants — to celebrate the holidays.

However, Dix said, his clarification was not an invitation for grandparents to start looking after their grandchild now so that they’re able to have Christmas dinner with extended family.

“Absolutely I have heard that question asked, and it’s probably the case that they could,” Dix told reporters. “But I would say, right now: When in doubt, rule it out.”

Read more: B.C. extends ban on social gatherings until Jan. 8, restricting Christmas and New Year’s events

On Monday, the province extended the ban on social gatherings with anyone outside of one’s immediate household until midnight on Jan. 8, as community transmission of the virus remains high.

Despite that ban, grandparents have still been allowed to care for loved ones as an essential service.

The health minister’s guidance could also apply to other family members who care for a child.

Video: Christmas cancelled: B.C. public health orders extended through January

Other restrictions that were extended until January are the requirement to wear mask in all public, indoor places and to avoid all non-essential travel.

“We want this to be a Christmas we celebrate virtually and support one another,” Dix said. “It is for the safety of everyone involved right now, especially the elders, over the Christmas period.”


Source: Global News