COVID-19

(Last Update: November 1, 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✅ The ‘Circuit-Breaker’ lockdown is no longer in effect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.
🛑 Additional regional restrictions are in place for Northern Health
✅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TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ARE NO LONGER IN EFFECT✈⛴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. 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 when the US land and marine border opened to fully vaccinated travellers. Starting December 1, 2021, a negative PCR test will not be required for citizens and permanent residents re-enter Canada after trips to the US lasting less than 72 hours. A negative molecular test will still be required for foreign nationals to enter Canada as well as for Canadians returning from trips lasting longer than 72 hours.
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 will not include service to Prince Rupert until 2022.

🌍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.
Find out if you can travel to Canada

🔅 PHYSICAL DISTANCING ORDERS 🔅
🛑Indoor gatherings in Northern Health restricted to 5 people or one other household.
🛑 Outdoor gatherings in Northern Health are restricted to 50 people.
🤒 Self-isolate if you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19.
😷 Non-medical masks must be worn by everyone over the age of 5 in indoor public settings to help keep those around you safe.

💉 VACCINATIONS
2️⃣ BC  is in Phase 4 of the COVID-19 Immunization Plan. During this phase, everybody 5+ 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.

📲 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, prioritizing B.C.’s elderly and most at-risk through to the December holiday.
The plan expands to include all British Columbians 12+ beginning in January 2022.
People 70+ who are registered in the Get Vaccinated System, as well as Indigenous Peoples 12+, will soon be invited to book their booster, which will help maintain protection against COVID-19. Booster doses are underway for other priority groups, including residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities and vulnerable people living in shelters or high-risk congregate settings, and are in use as part of outbreak management.


SAFETY
👩🏿‍⚕️ The COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by Health Canada are safe, effective and will save lives. To date, two vaccines have been fully approved for use by Health Canada.
—–Learn about the Pfizer vaccine
—–Learn about the Moderna vaccine
Additionally, two other vaccines have been approved for emergency use:
—–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
BC has launched a proof of vaccination system to enter public spaces. As of October 13, 2021, 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. The BC Vaccine card will be acceptable proof of vaccination for British Columbians travelling by air or rail until November 30. After that date, the federal vaccine certificate will be required. 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

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.
⚕️ 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 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 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.

LOCAL TRANSPORTATION
🚗 Renew auto-insurance by email or phone or at Service BC.
🚗 Extend your drivers license remotely.
🚌 BC Transit & TransLink: Face coverings are required.
⛴️ BC Ferries: Face coverings are required.
⛴️ BC Inland Ferries: Face coverings are required.
✅ 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 are open open subject to Proof-of-Vaccination.
🛍️ Some businesses may refuse to pack reusable bags or containers. 🔅
🍽️ Restaurants, pubs, cafés, that serve food are open for outdoors and indoors seating subject to Proof-of-Vaccination.
✅ 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
✅ Travel restrictions in place for Haida Gwaii have been lifted.
🏊 Community centres and other municipal services are open.
✅ 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
👪 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 can take 3 paid days of sick leave.
🇨🇦 The federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit can be accessed by workers unable to work due to becoming ill with COVID-19 or being required to self-isolate.
🧍 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 🍁
⚠ Global Travel Advisory lifted. 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:
Starting 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
Transition period if you don’t qualify as fully vaccinated
From October 30 through November 29, 2021, there will be a short transition period when travellers who don’t qualify as fully vaccinated will be able to travel if they can show a valid COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of travel.
Providing a molecular test result during the transition period
Until November 30, British Columbians travelling by air or rail can use their BC Vaccine card to proof immunization. After that date, you will need to show a federal vaccine certificate to travel in and out of the country. This card will be separate from the B.C. card but can be accessed through Health Gateway

🍁 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.

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.