How is British Columbia Responding to COVID-19?
B.C.’s response to COVID-19
Last updated: January 19, 2021
Information for residents of British Columbia about COVID-19.
By order and direction of the PHO, individuals and businesses in B.C. must significantly reduce social interactions and travel.
The order has been extended until further notice
People can take part in smart, safe and respectful travel within B.C. Remember, international travellers returning to B.C. are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days and complete a self-isolation plan.
The BC Restart Plan takes a phased approach to reopening. This allows sectors and activities within the phases to open when the evidence and data tells us the time is right, and as protocols and guidance are in place for them to do so safely.
Guidelines for B.C. Travel
Travel is different this year. The precautions you take at home should also be taken when you are away. Some towns, communities and regions who rely on tourism are eager to welcome B.C. visitors with safety measures in place. Others might be hesitant to welcome outside visitors this summer and people need to respect that.
We encourage British Columbians to be respectful of the communities you plan to visit and be safe as you enjoy the many beautiful locations across our province.
Some Indigenous communities in B.C. are not welcoming visitors at this time. It’s important to respect this and do your research before travelling. Visit Indigenous Tourism BC for a list of Indigenous experiences in the province that are currently open and welcoming visitors.
If you are travelling to B.C. from another province or territory within Canada you are expected to follow the same travel guidelines as everyone else in B.C. and travel safely and respectfully.
Travellers to and from the United States going to and from Alaska are permitted to enter British Columbia on the condition they proceed directly to their destination and self-isolate during any necessary overnight stops.
Should I Travel?
When you hit the open roads this summer, you are not leaving COVID-19 behind.
- Consider the health and safety of people in your bubble, and whether you want to take any extra risks
If you decide to travel, take the same health and safety precautions you do at home.
- Wash your hands often
- Practice safe distancing, 2 m
- Spend time in small groups and open spaces
- Clean spaces often
If you are feeling sick, stay home. No exceptions.
If symptoms develop while travelling, self-isolate immediately and contact 8-1-1 for guidance and testing.
Do Your Research and Arrive Prepared
Do your research before you travel and make sure your summer trip is right for you, right for your family and right for the community you are visiting. Research B.C. travel information
- Plan ahead to make sure the community you want to visit is welcoming visitors
- Be respectful of locals
- Contact the local visitor centre, tourism association or Chamber of Commerce to learn what services are available
Arrive prepared to smaller communities if they don’t have the resources to support you.
- Bring groceries and essential supplies, if possible
- If you get sick, self-isolate immediately and contact 8-1-1 for guidance and testing
If communities are welcoming visitors, support their small businesses when you can.
Dr. Bonnie Henry’s Travel Manners
- Check before you go
- Fewer faces in bigger spaces
- If sick, stay home
- Wash your hands
- Keep a safe physical distance
- Come prepared, bring supplies
- Respect travel advisories
Guidelines for Social Interaction
There are key guidelines to keep yourself and others safe.
If you are at greater risk (over the age of 60 or with underlying medical conditions), be informed of your risk, think through your risk tolerance and take extra precautions.
Inside Your Bubble
Your bubble includes members of your immediate household and can be carefully expanded to include others.
- Try to limit the number of people in your bubble
- Every time you add someone to your bubble, you are also connecting with everybody in their bubble
- Inside your bubble you can hug and kiss and do not need to wear a mask or stay 2 m apart
- Remember, vigilant hand-washing and space cleaning is still important
- If you are sick, self-isolate from people in your bubble as much as possible
Outside Your Bubble
In personal settings when you’re seeing friends and family who aren’t in your bubble:
- Only get together in small groups of 2 to 6 people
- Keep 2 m of physical distance from those who are outside your bubble and limit your time together
- Stay home and away from others if you have cold or flu-like symptoms
- Take extra precautions for those at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, including older people and those with chronic health conditions
Practice Good Hygiene
- Stay at home and keep a safe distance from people in your household when you have cold or flu-like symptoms, including:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- No handshaking or hugs with people outside of your bubble
- Practice good hygiene, including:
- Regular hand washing
- Avoiding touching your face
- Covering coughs and sneezes
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces
- Maintain physical distance as much as possible when in the community and where not possible, consider using a non-medical mask or face covering
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.
Additional COVID-19 information for travellers is available at hellobc.com.
In the Township of Langley, Vancouver Fraser Health (VFH) is the official health authority. Any visitors with questions about COVID-19 or public health in the TOL are encouraged to consult the Vancouver Fraser Health website.