It’s time to plan and explore BC. If you’re a BC resident, start booking your BC holidays for fall and winter. Be sure to check on cancellation and refund policies, and familiarize yourself on how to travel safely and responsibly.

If you are a tourism industry partner seeking updates about COVID-19, please visit Destination BC’s corporate website, here.

Last updated: October 29, 1:00 pm

Current State

How British Columbia is responding to Covid-19

  • On June 24, 2020, it was announced that British Columbia is taking the next step in BC’s Restart Plan with a gradual transition to Phase 3, including the smart, safe and respectful return of travel and tourism within the province.
  • As we enter the phase when we can all share BC’s beauty, we need to remember that like other activities during the pandemic, travel will be different this year. We are not leaving COVID-19 behind, and we need to continue to do our part to protect the progress we’ve made.
  • By following the foundational rules that have allowed our province to enter Phase 3—physical distancing, staying home when sick, hand hygiene, wearing masks, and other protective measures—we can continue on this path together to enjoy our new reality and explore our province, safely.
  • Further details on Phase 3, including guidelines and advice for safe travel, can be found at: gov.bc.ca/COVID-19.
  • The Canadian border remains closed for recreational tourism, so we are asking our international visitors to dream now and explore BC later when the time is right. While the border remains open for essential travel purposes, any visitor who arrives from outside of Canada must quarantine for 14 days.

The Province has created a dedicated phone service to provide British Columbians with non-medical information about COVID-19, including the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing. Information is available in more than 110 languages, seven days a week between 7:30 am-8 pm, at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or via text message at 1-888-268-4319.

Travel Updates

Border Info

Canadian Border

The Canadian border remains closed for recreational tourism, so we are asking our international visitors to dream now and explore BC later when the time is right. While the border remains open for essential travel purposes, any visitor who arrives from outside of Canada must quarantine for 14 days.

While there is currently no date set for the reopening of the border, as soon as we know, we’ll share that info here. We look forward to welcoming you as soon as we can.

See the Canadian Border Services Agency website for the latest updates.

Provincial Border 

BC is in now in Phase 3 of the Restart Plan which means people can take part in smart, safe, and respectful travel within BC.

If you are travelling to BC from another province or territory within Canada, you are expected to follow the same travel guidelines as everyone else in BC and travel safely and respectfully.

For more information about provincial borders and current travel restrictions, please visit the Province of BC’s Travel Affected by COVID-19 website.

BC-Alberta Border

BC is in now in Phase 3 of the Restart Plan which means people can take part in smart, safe, and respectful travel within BC.

If you are travelling to BC from Alberta, you are expected to follow the same travel guidelines as everyone else in BC and travel safely and respectfully.

For more information about provincial borders and current travel restrictions, please visit the Province of BC’s Travel Affected by COVID-19 website.

BC-Yukon Border

BC is in now in Phase 3 of the Restart Plan which means people can take part in smart, safe, and respectful travel within BC.

If you are travelling to BC from Yukon, you are expected to follow the same travel guidelines as everyone else in BC and travel safely and respectfully.

For more information about provincial borders and current travel restrictions, please visit the Province of BC’s Travel Affected by COVID-19 website.

Travellers heading into Yukon via Highway 97 or Highway 37 will be required to produce appropriate identification and sign a declaration that they have not travelled outside of BC, Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut in the past 14 days. Residents from BC, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut who have not travelled outside those four jurisdictions can travel to Yukon without self-isolating. Those who live outside those four jurisdictions or who have travelled outside those four jurisdictions must self-isolate for 14 days.

For more information on Yukon’s strengthened enforcement of travel restrictions, visit Yukon’s Border restrictions during COVID-19 website.

What's Open

BC tourism businesses have reopened to local residents to experience in a safe and responsible manner, but it’s still not business as usual.

Right now we recommend that you check with the tourism businesses you are hoping to visit to get the latest on-the-ground information. See What’s Open in BC By Community for a list of community destination marketing organizations and chambers of commerce who are maintaining a list of businesses which are open.

Please visit Indigenous Tourism BC’s website for a list of Indigenous experiences in the province that are currently open to visitors, and familiarize yourself with their valuable tips on how to travel responsibly.

Visitor Centres

If you’re looking to connect with a local tourism expert, there are more than 100 community-owned Visitor Centres and booths across the province that make up BC’s Visitor Services Network. When you’re exploring BC, drop by into the Visitor Centres for accurate information, local gems, and expertise.

Accommodations

Accommodations across BC are looking forward to welcoming visitors this fall and winter. Please confirm with the accommodation directly to see if and when they are accepting visitors. See our BC Accommodations listings for a full list of accommodations in BC, including hotels, cabins, resorts, wilderness lodges, bed & breakfasts, and campgrounds.

Attractions

Attractions across BC are looking forward to welcoming visitors back this fall and winter. Please confirm with the attractions directly to see if and when they are accepting visitors. See our Experience Providers listings for a full list of British Columbia attractions, including Indigenous cultural sites, guided tours, golf courses, food & drink, heritage sites, river rafting, fishing, gardens, horseback riding, museums, art galleries, and more.

Roads and Driving

BC is a vast, mountainous province, and driving is an extremely common way to travel between BC’s communities and to experience its diverse landscapes. Follow these tips to ensure your drive in BC is a safe one.

Plan Your Route

For estimated driving times and distances between two or more BC locations, Google Maps is generally reliable across the province.

For road trip ideas in BC, including detailed multi-day driving itineraries, see our British Columbia Road Trips webpage.

Check Road Conditions

Always check DriveBC before heading out on the road to learn about the current conditions along your planned route, including webcams, closures, construction delays, or detours.

Check Weather Conditions

BC’s mountainous terrain means weather conditions can change rapidly within relatively short distances, and snowfall can happen any month in the higher-elevation mountain passes. Before heading out on the road, always check the current weather conditions and weather alerts along your planned journey. Drive for the conditions. If the weather is bad (i.e. snowfall warning along the Coquihalla), delay your drive until the weather and road conditions improve, or consider an alternate route or a different mode of transportation.

Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter in BC means short daylight hours (i.e. darkness by 4pm), colder temperatures, and more possibilities of bad weather and road conditions, including wind, rain, and snowstorms. There are many rewarding destinations to experience after a safe winter drive, but it requires additional planning and preparation. Having flexibility in your schedule will also be key to ensuring everyone’s safety on the road.

When planning a winter road trip, familiarize yourself with Shift Into Winter to learn how to prepare yourself, prepare your vehicle, and drive for the conditions.

Visit How to Prepare for Winter Driving to keep you and others safe as you explore BC.

Visit BCAA’s top tips to help you avoid BC’s most common winter driving problems for more winter driving safety.

Winter Tires

BC’s winter road conditions can include snow and ice. While roads are generally snow-free September and October, the weather can be unpredictable and change rapidly, and drivers legally need winter tires from October 1 until April 30 when travelling on all BC highways. Learn all the details about the winter tire requirement from the Government of British Columbia website.

BC Road Rules

Whether you’re new to driving in BC or need a refresher about province’s road rules, see ICBC’s Driving Guides to refresh your knowledge and skills.

 

BC Ferries

BC Ferries is operating at a reduced capacity, a limited schedule, and reduction of route service. Safety measures that are in place to support physical distancing include screening of travellers and enhanced cleaning.

As of August 24, all walk-on and vehicle passengers are required to wear face coverings at all times when at a BC Ferries terminal or on a BC Ferries ship, with the exception being if a customer is inside a vehicle or consuming food or drinks while maintaining physical distance. Also exempt are customers with an underlying medical condition or disability that inhibits the ability to wear a face covering, those who are unable to place or remove a face covering without assistance, and children under two years of age. This requirement also applies to BC Ferries employees, except those working behind a physical barrier or within employee only areas while maintaining appropriate physical distance.

If you plan to travel on a ferry, check the service notices, current conditions and the BC Ferries travel advisory. Reservations are highly recommended.

Hiking, Beaches, and Parks

National Parks (Parks Canada)

Parks Canada gradually reopened some of their national park locations in June 2020. Visitors will be permitted to access some trails, day use areas, and green spaces at some locations.

Check the Parks Canada website for the latest updates on BC’s national parks, such as Pacific Rim (including the West Coast Trail), Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, Mount Revelstoke, and Gwaii Hanaas.

Provincial Parks (BC Parks)

On May 14, BC Parks began to open many provincial parks and protected areas and marine parks, though some will still remain closed. Some areas and facilities remain closed, including playgrounds, picnic shelters and visitor centres. For more information, including a list of open parks, please visit the BC Parks website, or use the BC Parks Map.

Recreation Sites & Trails BC (RSTBC)

On May 14, RSTBC began to reopen the majority of recreation sites and trails to day-use activities only. For more information, please visit Recreation Sites and Trails BC.

Note: Recreation sites and trails are often accessed by resource roads, also known as forest service roads (FSR). BC’s resource roads are not built or maintained to the same standards as public highways, with many additional hazards such as rough, loose gravel, potholes, sharp corners, large industrial vehicles and other unmarked hazards. High-clearance 4WD vehicles are often required. Remember to check your insurance policy, as some coverage may be void when using these roads. Please read road safety, road use regulations, and road policy information before travelling on forest service roads. For more information, please visit the Government of BC website.

Regional & Municipal Parks

Not all parks fall within national or provincial jurisdiction; many are managed by regional or municipal parks boards, which set their own rules, regulations, openings, and closures to ensure visitor safety. Always check with the park’s website before planning your visit to learn about the latest updates.

Camping in BC

Camping in BC reopened on June 1 with some restrictions in place to ensure safety. While many campgrounds are now open, some will remain closed. Please confirm with the campground directly before making any plans. Reservations are strongly recommended.

For safety tips, see COVID-19 Tips for Camping and RVing.

Private Campgrounds & RV Parks

BC is home to many privately-run campgrounds and RV parks who are looking forward to welcoming you. Contact each campground and RV Park to confirm if and when they’re accepting guests.

To find a complete list of all campgrounds and RV parks in BC, visit the Camping & RV in BC website.

Provincial Parks (BC Parks)

On June 1, BC Parks re-opened most provincial campgrounds and back-country camping, with reservations open to BC residents only. Provincial parks that attract large crowds will remain closed until it is safe to reopen at a later date. Backcountry campgrounds in some parks with high day use will also remain closed.

Please see the BC Parks affected by COVID-19 website for anticipated re-opening dates for specific parks.

Camping reservations at BC’s provincial parks are now open for BC residents only and can be booked on the Discover Camping website. Reservations can only be booked within a two month window from the date of booking.

Additional Resources:

Recreation Sites & Trails (RSTBC)

On June 1, RSTBC began to open most recreation sites to camping. To ensure physical distancing, you may notice some changes in campgrounds, including additional spacing between campsites and limitations on the number of guests in campground. Backcountry cabins will remain closed. Recreation sites that attract large crowds may remain closed until it is safe to reopen at a later date.

Before leaving on your trip, check for possible closures, alerts or other warnings that may affect the site or trail you plan to visit. For more information, visit the RCTBC website.

Note: Recreation sites and trails are often accessed by resource roads, also known as forest service roads (FSR). BC’s resource roads are not built or maintained to the same standards as public highways, with many additional hazards such as rough, loose gravel, potholes, sharp corners, large industrial vehicles and other unmarked hazards. High-clearance 4WD vehicles are often required. Remember to check your insurance policy, as some coverage may be void when using these roads. Please read road safety, road use regulations, and road policy information before travelling on forest service roads. For more information, please visit the Government of BC website.

National Parks (Parks Canada)

Camping at some Parks Canada places began on June 22. Only camping services where health and safety risks can be managed will be opened. This means, your visit will be different this year than in past years.

To reserve a campground in a national park, please check the Parks Canada Reservations website to see the specific reservation launch date and time for each Parks Canada location, including Pacific Rim (and the West Coast Trail), Yoho, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke, Glacier, and Gulf Islands, as well as oTENTik camping at National Historic Sites such as in Fort Langley and Fort Rodd.

Fall For BC

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COVID-19 Medical Info

If You Have Symptoms

All travellers who are visiting BC and begin to feel ill can seek medical attention at local hospitals or urgent care centres.

Note: In suspected cases of the coronavirus, it is important to call ahead to the hospital, doctor or urgent care centre first for advice. Where language may be a barrier, tour operators, accommodation providers, and other tourism businesses can provide support by offering to contact a health-care professional on their behalf. (Symptoms of a coronavirus infection include, but are not limited to, fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and difficulty breathing.

For travellers who suspect they might have coronavirus symptoms, you must provide health-care professionals with the following info (via phone):

  • Symptoms;
  • Where you have been travelling, working or living;
  • If you had close contact with a sick person, especially someone with a fever, cough or difficulty breathing

Important Phone Numbers

International mobile phones on a Canadian network should be able to access the following phone numbers:

  • For non-emergency situations only, call 8-1-1 (or 7-1-1 for the deaf or hard of hearing). This is a free-of-charge provincial health information and advice phone line operated by HealthLink BC. Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.
  • In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • Find the nearest hospital or health centre in British Columbia here.

Public Health Agency of Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is working with provinces, territories, and international partners, including the World Health Organization, to actively monitor the situation. Public health risk is being continually reassessed as new information becomes available, with updates being posted to the government’s COVID-19 Updates page. The current risk to Canadians is considered high. This does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there is already a significant impact on our health care system. If we do not flatten the epidemic curve now, the increase of COVID-19 cases could impact health care resources available to Canadians. The current assessment also indicates that there is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:

  • aged 65 and over
  • with compromised immune systems
  • with underlying medical conditions

There are also increased health risks for Canadian travellers abroad. Because of these risks, the Government of Canada advises you to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice, including cruise ship travel.

Canada’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak takes a whole-of-government approach, based on plans and guidance related to pandemic preparedness. For an overview on the national response to the virus outbreak, including national updates, travel advice and links to official sources of information, visit PHAC’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Canada’s response page.

For detailed information about Canada’s response, including the measures already taken to respond to the outbreak, new investments to limit the spread of the virus and prepare for its potential impacts, and more, on the Government of Canada takes action on COVID-19 page.

For any questions, call the Health Canada COVID-19 information line: 1-833-784-4397, or email: [email protected]

World Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have issued a joint statement on international cooperation as key to the containment of COVID-19. Read it here.

Stay Informed