✅ Additional regional restrictions for Northern Health have been lifted. Provincial restrictions remain in effect. ✅Provincial State of Emergency has been allowed to lapse, effective June 30 2021 at 11:59 PM. 🚨 Compliance & Enforcement: Violations of public health orders, quarantine orders, or restrictions against price gouging and profiteering can carry heavy fines and even jail time. Violations can be reported to your local government bylaw office (City NVan – District NVan – West Van), to your local police force through their non-emergency line, or via Consumer Protection BC (in the case of price gouging). 💹 BC Economic Recovery Plan is currently in place. Province is in Stage 3 of loosening restrictions.
OMICRON RESTRICTIONS EASING PROCESS
Due to the Omicron wave peaking and the lessening burden on our health care system, BC is easing public health restrictions starting on February 16. New restrictions lifted on March 11 include:
🚗🚌TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ARE NO LONGER IN EFFECT✈⛴
Travel restrictions for non-essential travel in B.C. have been lifted. Recreational travel within B.C. and Canada is permitted. Travel to the Interior or North is not recommended unless fully vaccinated due to high COVID-19 transmission rates. – 🇺🇸From a United-States border crossing🛃
As of August 9, 2021, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents are allowed entry into Canada for discretionary purposes. –
Canadian citizens and permanent residents can now enter the United-States via land and ferry border crossings as of November 8 2021 when the US land and marine border opened to fully vaccinated travellers. –
Arrivals to Canada must use the ArriveCAN App. Travellers entering Canada are no longer required to present a negative COVID-19 test. You might be selected for an on arrival COVID-19 test. If you are randomly selected, you must follow the instructions on the take home test kit that is provided to you, including taking the test through video appointment with a health care professional and arranging pickup. You do not have to isolate while waiting for test results if randomly selected. Learn about arriving in Canada at a land border crossing –
🚢 The Alaska Marine Highway system has released its proposed schedule for this summer. This schedule includes twice monthly service starting June through to September. – 🌍From an international destination🛃
As of September 7, 2021, fully vaccinated foreign nationals from all over the world are allowed entry into Canada for discretionary travel purposes. Arrivals must use the ArriveCAN App. Travellers entering Canada are no longer required to present a negative COVID-19 test. You may be randomly selected for an on-arrival COVID-19 test. If you are randomly selected, you must follow the instructions on the take home test kit that is provided to you, including taking the test through video appointment with a health care professional and arranging pickup. You do not have to isolate while waiting for test results if randomly selected. Find out if you can travel to Canada
The Omicron Variant of concern has become the dominant variant of COVID-19 in the Province of British Columbia. Below are some things that we know about the new variant:
•The new variant is vaccine resistant — a full course of vaccination does not protect well against symptomatic infection — a booster dose provides more protection;
•Thankfully, our vaccines provide excellent protection against severe illness and death;
•The new variant is less deadly than the original strain as well as Delta. Infections do not affect people as negatively however the WHO is cautioning people to avoid labelling the variant as “mild”;
•The new variant is highly transmissible. This is cause for concern, as even though infections tend to produce fewer negative effects than Delta or other strains, even a very small percentage of many people can cause a strain on our health care system;
•The incubation period for Omicron is shorter than the original COVID-19 virus or Delta at an average of three days;
•The distinctive COVID-19 symptom: loss of taste and / or smell, is largely not experienced by people infected with Omicron.
•Cloth masks are not as effective against Omicron. For better protection wear a 3-ply surgical mask, and double up with a cloth mask on top.
•This is a stressful time, and many may be struggling with feelings of hopelessness. Try not to despair — we are not ‘back to square one’. We have a large degree of protection against severe illness and death in the form of vaccinations, we know much more about COVID-19 than when it first appeared, we are developing treatments to prevent severe illness and death, and we will get through this together. As always, Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe.
🔅 PHYSICAL DISTANCING ORDERS 🔅
✅ There are no restrictions on indoor personal gatherings. ✅ There are no restrictions on outdoor personal gatherings.
🤒 Self-isolate if you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19. 😷 Masks are optional in most settings, but are required in health care settings, in airports / on planes and in train stations / on trains. Masks are encouraged in spaces where physical distancing is difficult to maintain, such as public transit and onboard a B.C. ferry.
ISOLATION REQUIREMENTS Due to a variety of factors including the shortened incubation period of COVID-19, provincial isolation guidelines have changed: If you are fully vaccinated and cannot access a test, isolate at home until symptoms resolve then avoid high-risk settings like long-term care facilities and group gatherings until at least 10 days have passed. If you test positive and are fully vaccinated, stay home for at least 5 days since symptoms started or your test result was received and it has been at least 24 hours fever-free without medication. Avoid high risk settings like long-term care facilities and group gatherings for a further 5 days. These guidelines also apply for unvaccinated people under the age of 18. –
If you are not fully vaccinated and are over the age of 18, new guidelines to isolate for 10 days since symptoms onset or positive test result are in place. Staying home while sick remains one of the most effective mitigation policies to prevent the spread of not only COVID-19, but other illnesses as well. Employees in BC are entitled to 5 days of paid-sick-leave to ensure they do not have to lose out on a paycheque for doing the right thing.
2️⃣ BC is in Phase 4 of the COVID-19 Immunization Plan. During this phase, everybody 5+ can get vaccinated. –
📲 The province has launched an online registration system to request a vaccine. Anybody over the age of 5 can book online at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.html . –
3️⃣ THIRD DOSES Third doses will be given to clinically severely immunocompromised individuals whose immune systems might have not mounted as strong a response to the first two doses. These individuals will be contacted by their health care professionals. – BOOSTER DOSES More people in B.C. will start to receive invitations for a COVID-19 booster shot as the Province continues its COVID-19 immunization plan. People aged 18 and up, 6 to 8 months from their second dose who are registered in the Get Vaccinated system will be invited by email or text message to book their booster dose. Vulnerable populations are now eligible for a fourth dose six months after their third dose. You can register in the system at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.html
👨🏾🔬 Health Canada has conducted a rigorous scientific review of the available medical evidence to assess the safety of the approved COVID-19 vaccines. Feeling worried or unsure is completely normal when something is new.
—–No major safety concerns have been identified in the data Health Canada reviewed
—–We can be reassured that Health Canada has a thorough approval process that makes sure the vaccines and medicines we take are safe. b 🚚SUPPLY
Vaccine supply is distributed by the Government of Canada and B.C. receives an allocated number of doses of vaccine on a weekly basis. b 💫 VACCINE CHOICES People eligible for a vaccine in Phase 4 will get either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Due to vaccine logistics and to make sure people get the vaccine as quickly and safely as possible, people will not be able to choose which vaccine they get.
Essential workers prioritized for vaccination and identified in Phase 3 will be able to:
🔁For those who had an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine for their first dose, it is safe to get a different mRNA vaccine for your second dose. b
The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone living in B.C. who is eligible to receive it. LEARN MORE ABOUT BC’S VACCINATION PLAN HERE –
📲💳 PROOF OF VACCINATION BC has launched a proof of vaccination system to enter public spaces. As of October 13, 2021 and until April 8, 2022, proof of full vaccination is required in B.C. for people attending certain social and recreational settings and events. This important step will continue to increase the vaccination rate across the province and provide confidence to fully vaccinated people that those around them are also fully vaccinated. To enter certain spaces, including indoor ticketed sporting events, indoor and patio dining in restaurants, fitness centres, casinos and indoor organized events, like conferences and weddings, people aged 12 and older will be required to show their proof of vaccination along with government ID. The only valid proof of vaccination for residents of BC is the BC Vaccine Card.
You can get your card here: https://www.healthgateway.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard –
Proof of Vaccination example –
You will have the option to receive a paper and digital copy of your immunization record card. We recommend registering for Health Gateway, where your digital immunization record card will be available only after you receive the vaccine. The province has developing a secure digital and physical proof of vaccination. If you need a physical proof, you can get one at the library, ServiceBC, or our constituency office.
The federal government has also announced the creation of a federal vaccine certificate which can be used for travel within Canada and abroad. As of November 30, the federal vaccine certificate is required to travel by air or train in Canada. You can access the federal proof of vaccination by pulling up your BC vaccine card on health gateway, clicking “save as” and “pdf: federal”. ––
An example of the federal proof of vaccination
🧪 COVID-19 testing criteria changes regularly. Take the online self-assessment or call 8-1-1 if you have symptoms to check whether you should be tested.
📱 New mobile app to help notify Canadians of potential COVID-19 exposure now available. 🍁
🩺 Choose virtual health care services whenever available, physicians will be compensated. ⚕️ MSP coverage wait times are waived for those who have been out of province and returned.
💉 Safe prescription alternatives to the illegal drug supply available to people who use substances.
🏥 Visitor restrictions are in place at health care facilities.
🧓 Long-term care and seniors’ assisted living facilities are under visitation restrictions.
✅ Elective surgeries and procedures have unfortunately been postponed due to preserve health care capacity due to rising COVID-19 cases associated with the Omicron variant.
HOUSING ⚠️Freeze on rental rates lifted — maximum rent increase for 2022 is 1.5%.
⛔️ Moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent has been lifted. A repayment framework has been outlined to help renters and landlords to transition and tenants in arrears to maintain their housing.
⛔️ Landlords may restrict use of common areas by tenants or guests.
⚠️ Landlords may resume entering a rental with 24-hour notice for reasons considered lawful under the RTA.
🏘️ Strata councils may meet virtually during COVID-19. >> Click here to see personal supports available to you.
RECREATION & OUTDOORS
✅ Travel restrictions in place for Haida Gwaii have been lifted.
✅Gyms, fitness centres and dance studios are open.
✅ North Shore playgrounds now open.
✅ North Shore libraries have re-opened. Check online for hours and services before you go.
✅ Parks Canada: National parks, historic sites, and campsites are re-opening. Check online before you go. ℹ️ Read more: In-province travel restrictions
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL & BORDERS 🍁
⚠ Global Travel Advisory reinstated. Read specific travel advisories here.
❌ Protocols in place for foreign nationals transiting through Canada to Alaska. 🍁
✅ Cruise ships with overnight accommodations are no longer prohibited from operating in Canadian waters as of November 1, 2021.
⛔️ Non-vaccinated Travellers entering the country must self-isolate for fourteen days.🔅 Violations carry a maximum fine of $750,000 and 6 months in jail.🍁
⛔️ Anyone exhibiting symptoms will be actively refused boarding onto all aircraft and trains, including for travel within Canada.🍁
🌡️ Temperature screening is now required at all airports as well as at points of departure for those travelling inbound into Canada.🍁
🍁✈🚃 Mandatory vaccination to board:
As of October 30, 2021 at 03:00 EDT: if you’re 12 years of age plus 4 months, or older, you’ll need to be fully vaccinated in order to board:
domestic or international flights departing from most airports in Canada, including charter and foreign airlines carrying commercial passengers
Medevac flights and private flights that don’t enter airport restricted areas are excluded
VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains
Airports with vaccination requirement–
🍁 The global travel advisory has been lifted.
🍁 CBSA services hours are temporarily reduced at more land, air, marine ports of entry (POE).
🍁 Passport services in Canada resuming by mail and by appointment for travel in less than 30 days. >> Click here to see personal supports available to you. 🍁 Federal measure. Contact your local MP for questions about these items.
🔅 Public Health Order.