COVID-19

(Last Update: July 21, 2021)


BC’s Vaccination Stage

EMERGENCY STATUS
✅ The ‘Circuit-Breaker’ lockdown is no longer in effect
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⚠️ Public Health Emergency is still in effect since March 17, 2020 throughout Stage 3 of reopening. See written Provincial Health Orders. Dr. Bonnie Henry is also able to issue verbal orders with immediate effect.
✅Provincial State of Emergency has been allowed to lapse, effective June 30 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 NVanDistrict NVanWest 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.


🚗🚌
TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ARE NO LONGER IN EFFECT✈⛴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.

🛃From a United States border crossing
All non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border is restricted. Additional screening measures are in place at key points of entry. As of August 9, 2021, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be allowed entry into Canada for discretionary purposes. Canadian citizens and permanent residents are still barred from entering the United States via land and ferry border crossings.
Learn about arriving in Canada at a land border crossing

🚢 The Alaska Marine Highway system has released its proposed schedule for this summer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing Canadian border closure, this schedule does not include service to Prince Rupert, but this is subject to change.

🌍From an international destination
To limit the further spread of COVID-19, travel restrictions are in place across all ports of entry. The Canadian border is closed to most international travellers. You are allowed to enter Canada if you are a:
—–Canadian citizen
—–Permanent resident of Canada
—–Temporary resident of Canada
—–Protected person (refugee status)
—–Person registered under the Indian Act
—–Foreign national with a non-discretionary (non-optional) reason to travel to Canada
Find out if you can travel to Canada
On September 7, 2021 fully vaccinated foreign nationals from all over the world will be allowed entry into Canada for discretionary travel purposes.

🔅 PHYSICAL DISTANCING ORDERS 🔅
✅ Indoor gatherings of fewer than 50 people or 50% capacity — whatever is larger — are allowed.
✅ Outdoor gathers are allowed if less than 5 000 people or 50% capacity, whatever is larger.
🤒 Self-isolate if you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19.
😷 Non-medical masks should be worn by those who are not fully vaccinated when keeping physical distance isn’t possible to help keep those around you safe.

💉 VACCINATIONS
2️⃣ BC  is moving into Phase 4 of the COVID-19 Immunization Plan. During this phase, everybody 12+ can get vaccinated.
Northern Health had opened up vaccinations in Prince Rupert and Port Edward to anybody over 18 years of age. Prince Rupert held a mass vaccination clinic out of the Civic Centre until March 21. Over 85% of those eligible were vaccinated.
Anybody in Prince Rupert or Port Edward can book an appointment by calling 1-866-481-2175, 7 am to 7 pm PST, seven days a week.
🏢 Seniors in independent living or supportive housing, people in home-care support
You do not need to call to book a vaccine appointment if you’re:
—–A senior or high-risk person living in independent living or senior’s supportive housing
—–Staff in independent living or seniors supportive housing
—–Home-care support clients and staff
—–Your health authority will reach out to you or your housing operator to book your appointment for you or organize a mobile clinic.

📲 The province has launched an online registration system to request a vaccine. Anybody over the age of 12 can book online at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.html .
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SAFETY
👩🏿‍⚕️ The COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by Health Canada are safe, effective and will save lives. To date, four vaccines have been approved for use by Health Canada.
—–Learn about the Pfizer vaccine
—–Learn about the Moderna vaccine
—–Learn about the AstraZeneca vaccine
—–Learn about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
👨🏾‍🔬 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.
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🚚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. The allocated amount is expected to increase throughout 2021.
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💫 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.
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💷 COST
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
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.

Note: Health Gateway is not a source of vaccine or immunization information.

Your immunization record will be also be stored in the online provincial database, accessible to you, public health and your doctor.

Example of a paper immunization record card:

HEALTH CARE
🧪 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.
💊 Physician notes are NOT required for prescription refills by pharmacists.
🦷 Dentists should be providing emergency services only at this time. Services available from other regulated health care professionals (RMT, physiotherapy, chiropractic, etc) may also be limited at this time.
⚕️ 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.
👩‍⚕️ Workers and volunteers in long-term care may no longer work at multiple facilities. 🔅
🏥 Visitor restrictions are in place at health care facilities.
🧓 Long-term care and seniors’ assisted living facilities may now allow visitors under strict visiting protocols, beginning with single-person visits in designated visiting rooms.
Elective surgeries and procedures have restarted with new surgical renewal plan in place.

HOUSING
⛔️ Freeze on rental rates continues to be in place. Our government is passing legislation to extend the rent freeze until 2022.
⛔️ 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.

LOCAL TRANSPORTATION
🚗 Renew auto-insurance by email or phone or at Service BC.
🚗 Extend your drivers license remotely.
🚌 BC Transit & TransLink: Face coverings are optional, but recommended.
⛴️ BC Ferries: Face coverings are optional, but recommended.
⛴️ BC Inland Ferries: Face coverings are optional, but recommended.
✅ All ICBC knowledge tests available again by appointment.
💶 ICBC customers are eligible for rebates averaging $190. If your address is current, you do not need to do anything to ensure you receive the rebate.
>> Click here to see personal supports available to you.

RETAIL & SERVICES
⛔️ The resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, cleaning products and other essential supplies is prohibited.
✅🎰 Casinos remain closed.
🛍️ Some businesses may refuse to pack reusable bags or containers. 🔅
🍽️ Restaurants, pubs, cafés, that serve food are open for outdoors and indoors seating.
🏋️‍♀️ Indoor low intensity group exercise classes are cancelled.*
✅ Sale of non-food items may now resume at “farmers markets” or “community markets”.
Personal service establishments (salons, spas, massage, tattoo parlours, etc.) may re-open. 🔅
ℹ️ Read more: Essential Services List
ℹ️ Read more: Guidance to retail food & grocery stores

GOVERNMENT SERVICES
🍷 BC Liquor Stores are open.
💡 BC Service Centres are open. You can also call for service: 1-800-663-7867.
💳 Mobile BC Services Cards can be now set-up and verified remotely.
🍁Service Canada Centres are beginning to gradually reopen for in-person services. You can also visit eServices to request services.
🆘 bc211 is now also available to match volunteers with seniors in need of help with groceries, etc. Call 2-1-1 or visit online.
⚖️ Limitation periods to commence court proceedings have been suspended.
👨‍⚖️ Civil Resolution Tribunal deadlines extended; fees waived for those struggling financially.
📜 Remote execution of legal documents allowed during pandemic.
👨‍⚖️ Retired judges and universities activated as part of provincial court backlog response.
>> Click here to see personal supports available to you.

RECREATION & OUTDOORS
⛔️ Restrictions on open burning activities in effect. Read more.
✅ Travel restrictions in place for Haida Gwaii have been lifted.
🏊 Community centres and other municipal services are open may be impacted.
⚾ Amateur sport organizations are suspended
✅ North Shore playgrounds now open.
✅ North Shore libraries have re-opened. Check online for hours and services before you go.
BC Parks have re-opened with priority access to BC residents.
Parks Canada: National parks, historic sites, and campsites are re-opening. Check online before you go.
ℹ️ Read more: In-province travel restrictions

CHILDREN, YOUTH, & STUDENTS
⛔️ Overnight camps for children and youth may not operate. 🔅
👪 Enhanced government funding is available for child care providers that stay open and that close. Providers receiving enhanced government funding (above) cannot charge parent fees for any periods of closure or for vacant spaces and must reserve spaces for families. Check with your provider to see if they are in this program. (Effective April 2020)
🎓 Go Forward Guidelines have been released for post-secondary institutions.
✅ Parents may now choose to return their children to child care. The online childcare matching service is now open to all parents.
>> Click here to see personal supports available to you.
ℹ️ Read More: BC Government COVID-19 child care supports

LABOUR & BUSINESSES
⛔️ The Workplace COVID-19 Safety Plan requirement has been changed to a communicable diseases safety plan🔅
⛔️ Employers cannot require a doctors notes or testing for people to stay home from work. 🔅
⛔️ Commercial landlords who are eligible for the CECRA are restricted from evicting their eligible commercial tenants.
💪 Companies looking to offer support or supplies to help with the fight against COVID-19 can do so through the COVID-19 Supplier Hub.👷 Provincial Health Order regarding Industrial Work Camps in effect. 🔅
🧍 Workers may take unpaid, job-protected leave if they are unable to work for reasons relating to COVID-19, retroactive to Jan 27, 2020. As a permanent change, workers now also have three days of unpaid, job-protected leave each year for people who cannot work due to illness or injury.
ℹ️ Read more: Public Health Officer Guidance for industries and employers
>> Click here to see supports available to you and your business.

 INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL & BORDERS 🍁
❌ All Canadian borders are closed to non-essential travellers, with the following exceptions: Canadian Citizen, Permanent Residents, Foreign nationals visiting immediate family who are Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents. Travellers must not show any signs of illness and are required carry out a mandatory 14-day Quarantine. Persons arriving by air must complete a mandatory three day quarantine, in a government approved hotel, and present two COVID-19 tests, one upon arrival to Canada, and one 10 days after arriving.
❎ As of August 9, 2021, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be allowed entry into Canada for discretionary purposes.
❎ On September 7, 2021 fully vaccinated foreign nationals from all over the world will be allowed entry into Canada.
❌ Protocols in place for foreign nationals transiting through Canada to Alaska. 🍁
Cruise ships with overnight accommodations allowed to carry more than 100 persons are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until October 31.
⛔️ 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.
🍁 Canadians currently abroad are strongly advised to return to Canada. Call 1-613-996-8885 or email sos@international.gc.ca for assistance.
🍁 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.
✈️ All international flights (including from the USA) entering British Columbia will be restricted to YVR only.
>> Click here to see personal supports available to you.

🍁 Federal measure. Contact your local MP for questions about these items.
🔅 Public Health Order.

BordersLabour & IndustryChildren & FamiliesEmploymentEnforcementFinancial SupportsHealth CareHousingRecreation & OutdoorsGovernment ServicesRetail & ServicesSocial DistancingSupportsStudentsTransportationTravelYouth


Questions?

If you have symptoms:

If you need help or would like to give help to others:

  • Call: 2-1-1* ☎️

If you are looking for medical information about COVID-19:

  • Call: 8-1-1* ☎️
  • Online: BC CDC 🌐

If you are looking for non-medical information about COVID-19:

*Translation available in over 100 languages

Official Information Sources

This is a regularly evolving situation, with changes on a day-by-day and even hour-by-hour basis. Thus, please take note of the following links so that you can stay up to date:

Official Health Information on COVID-19
Be cautious of information you read about the virus online. Stick with reputable sites such as:

Travel Advisories & Border Control
Travel advisories and border control directives are issued by the Government of Canada. Visit Travel Advisories to see the latest advice on travel.