COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) UPDATE:

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While adventures in British Columbia beckon, it’s not the time to travel outside your community.

If you’re a BC resident, stay close to home and follow the latest health recommendations. If you’re from outside the province, we invite you to dream now and explore BC later. In the meantime, find the official links below for the most up-to-date information.

For tourism industry updates about COVID-19, please visit Destination BC’s corporate website, here.

Last updated: May 22, 5:10 pm

Latest Developments

How British Columbia is responding to Covid-19

  • On May 6, the Province of BC announced BC’s Restart Plan, which outlines the next steps in BC’s strategy to move through the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • British Columbians have been asked to continue to avoid all non-essential, inter-community travel.
  • British Columbians can start to explore their own communities. This does not mean visiting neighbouring towns, but we can start to #exploreBClocal.
  • Non-essential travel across the Provincial border is to be avoided. For information about Provincial borders and current travel restrictions, please visit the Province of BC’s Travel Affected by COVID-19 website.
  • For travellers heading into Yukon via Highway 97 or Highway 37, crossings are strictly limited to essential travel only. Travellers entering Yukon will be required to produce appropriate identification and documentation and a detailed self-isolation plan. For more information on Yukon’s strengthened enforcement of travel restrictions, visit Yukon’s Current COVID-19 situation website.
  • On May 14, BC Parks began to reopen the majority of provincial parks and protected areas and marine parks, though some will still remain closed. People across the province now have more access to safe outdoor recreation opportunities, while meeting the guidelines of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). For more information, including a list of open parks, please visit the BC Parks website.
  • On May 14, Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC) began to reopen the majority of recreation sites and trails to day-use activities only. People across the province once again now have access to safe outdoor recreation opportunities, while meeting the guidelines of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). For more information, please visit Recreation Sites and Trails BC.
  • On June 1, BC Parks will re-open most provincial campgrounds and back-country camping, with reservations opening at 7:00am (PT) on May 25 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.
  • BC Ferries is screening people for Covid-19 symptoms or recent international travel before allowing people to board. They are advising customers to avoid all non-essential travel.

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.

How Canada is responding to Covid-19

  • The Government of Canada continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic to determine what new measures may be required to contain the spread of the virus. For current restrictions and precautions in place, please visit the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Travel restrictions, exemptions and advice page.
  • To protect Canadians from further spread of COVID-19, the Prime Minister announced travel restrictions that limit who can travel to Canada. Until further notice, most people cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA).
  • The border between Canada and the U.S. remains closed for non-essential travel until further notice. Find more information on the Canadian Border Services website.
  • A global travel advisory is in effect.
  • Suspended visitor services to all Parks Canada sites, including its national parks, national marine conservation areas and historic sites.

Seeking medical attention

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.)

If you have symptoms

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 (PHAC)

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