DAWSON CREEK -- Health officials are implementing more restrictions in Northeastern B.C. to combat lower vaccination rates and increasing cases of COVID-19.

The announcement came from Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in Thursday’s provincial COVID-19 update.

While some of the directives are clear, others are still being ironed out. For instance anyone attending an outdoor gathering must be fully vaccinated, according to the mandate that took effect midnight Thursday.

CJDC TV asked Northern Health if protesters in Dawson Creek would be fined for attending gathering outdoors and failing to prove they have been vaccinated.

Northern Health says there will be more information coming next week with regard to enforcement of all Public Health Orders as they pertain to demonstrations and protests.

In December of last year, the organizer of a Freedom Rally in Dawson Creek was fined $2300 under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act.

Starting on Oct. 24, the next phase of the vaccine-card program will begin. Starting that date, proof of full vaccination will be required to access those discretionary services.

Health officials have previously said they don't expect to see as many vaccine card tickets because of how many residents are already vaccinated.

"We anticipate that the number of violation tickets issued in relation to vaccine card requirements will be much lower than the rate of violation tickets in previous months," the ministry said in an email.

The Health Ministry said nearly 3.6 million people have downloaded their vaccine cards.