Travel Affected by COVID-19

Travel precautions are in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. British Columbians who feel comfortable traveling around B.C. must do it in a way that protects the communities they visit. Review B.C.'s Phase 3 Guidelines for Travel.

Last updated: July 31, 2020

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Travellers Entering Canada

Unless you are exempt, all travellers returning to Canada are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days.

On March 25, 2020, the Government of Canada implemented a self-isolation plan for returning international travellers under the Quarantine Act.

  • The federal government will continue to use its authority under the Quarantine Act to ensure compliance with the order to self-isolate, enforceable by RCMP or local police
  • Maximum penalties for breaking self-isolation orders include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months

On July 2, 2020, the federal government extended the Emergency Order requirements related to mandatory isolation and quarantine until August 31, 2020.


U.S. Travellers Transiting through B.C. to Alaska

The restriction of all non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border is now extended to August 21, 2020.

You may still travel through B.C. while in transit to Alaska for essential reasons only.  To do so, you must enter B.C. at one of the following ports of entry:

  • Abbotsford-Huntingdon
  • Kingsgate
  • Osoyoos

Transiting Conditions

If people are misleading officials at the border and not proceeding directly to their final destination, there are penalties and fines relating to the federal Quarantine Act.

At the port of entry, the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) will issue you a vehicle “hang tag.” This must be attached to your rear view mirror for the duration of transit.

  • The CBSA will impose a reasonable period of stay to carry out your transit
  • The hang tag will note the date you must depart Canada

Remember, you should only make necessary stops for gas (pay at the pump), food (drive-through if possible) or overnight rest.

  • You must practice social distancing and wear a non-medical mask or face covering when entering B.C. and while in transit, unless you are alone (or with family members) in a private vehicle
  • Follow all COVID-19 safety precautions and do not travel through B.C. if you are ill or have COVID-19 symptoms

Inter-Provincial Travel

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.

If you are travelling from B.C. to another province, please check with that province for travel restrictions or guidance in place.


Do Your Research, Arrive Prepared

Do your research before you travel and make sure your trip is right for you and right for the community you are visiting.

The Province and Haida Gwaii are restricting non-resident travel to the area. To limit the further spread of COVID-19, only transport of essential goods and services are allowed to the islands.

Air Travel

All air travellers, with some exceptions, are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering while travelling.


Ferries

BC Ferries

BC Ferries has temporarily reduced sailings on some routes.

  • Visit BC Ferries for information about service reductions and current schedules

Please Note: Passengers over the age of two on routes longer than 30 minutes are required to be in possession of a face covering that covers their mouth and nose.

  • Passengers are asked to wear this covering in situations when a physical separation of two meters cannot be maintained

Priority Medical-Assured Loading

Orders under the Emergency Program Act have been updated to ensure that those travelling on BC Ferries to seek medical treatment are prioritized.

Under the order, BC Ferries can implement all procedures necessary to provide priority medical-assured loading on the first available vessel for any individual, their vehicle and an escort. 

To access priority loading for medical treatment, passengers must: 

Inland Ferries

Inland Ferries are in compliance with federal directives on COVID-19, and the following measures are now in place: 

  • Passengers must remain inside vehicles during sailings. 
  • All passenger amenities aboard the ferry are closed.  
  • Walk-on passengers, cyclists and motorcyclists must remain inside designated zones while in the terminal, and while aboard the ferry.  
  • Walk-on passengers, cyclists, and motorcyclists with symptoms of COVID-19 are not permitted aboard the inland ferries.  
  • Busy sailings may be impacted by reduced passenger limits.  
  • Follow direction of crew at all times. 
  • These measures are in effect until further notice.  
  • Find restrictions and other information related to specific sailings

Recreational Sites

Before travelling, check if there are restrictions in place for active transportation routes and recreational sites.

BC Parks

On May 14, 2020, the majority of provincial parks opened for day-use.

On June 1, 2020, BC Parks campgrounds and backcountry camping opened for overnight use and reservations.

  • Not all parks and campgrounds are open
  • Check the BC Parks website for closures

Recreation Sites and Trails BC

On June, 1 2020, camping opened for overnight use.

Parks Canada

On June 1, 2020, some Parks Canada locations started offering limited access and services while maintaining physical distancing measures and some Parks Canada locations have since also opened for camping.

Highways and roadways which pass through Parks Canada places remain open. Commercial and through traffic is permitted on these corridors. Please note that parking is not permitted on highways and roadways. 


Highway Operations

DriveBC

Provincial highway operations continue to provide safe and efficient travel.

Rest Areas

Provincial highway rest areas are open and maintenance contractors are systematically monitoring them to ensure they are clean, sanitary and well stocked daily.

Safe and clean facilities are important for all travellers, especially commercial truckers moving essential goods to maintain the supply chain.

  • Use only the supplies you need during your stop
  • Practise physical distancing and proper hygiene
  • Most provincial rest areas are equipped with either handwashing stations or fully plumbed washrooms
  • For facilities that do not, people are encouraged to use disposable rubber gloves or their own handwashing/sanitizing supplies

Passenger Transportation

Public Transportation

Taxi, Ride-Hail and Intercity Buses

Transportation services such as taxis, ride-hailing and intercity buses are open.

Transportation services must follow the orders and guidance provided by the Public Health Officer to ensure safe operations and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

George Massey Tunnel Shuttle

The shuttle operator is currently limiting the number of passengers per trip, but will return to pick up overflow. The operator may choose not to carry someone showing symptoms.