Travel affected by COVID-19
At this time, stay local and avoid non-essential travel within B.C. Do not travel outside of the province unless it is essential.
Travel restrictions are in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last updated: January 8, 2021
On this page:
- Travellers entering Canada
- Canada-U.S. Border
- Inter-provincial travel
- Do your research, arrive prepared
- Air travel
- Highway operations
- Passenger transportation
Unless you are exempt, all travellers returning to Canada are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days.
The Government of Canada has 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
All air passengers five years of age or older are required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
International essential workers travelling to Canada
- Read about international essential workers
- Use the essential worker travel tool to see if you are able to travel to B.C. and if you need to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival
International students entering Canada
- Your designated learning institute must have an approved COVID-19 safety plan before planning your travel to Canada
The restriction of all non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border remain in effect.
- Unite with your family if you meet the requirements for immediate or extended family members who are eligible to travel to Canada
- If you are a foreign national travelling to Canada for a compassionate reason who has authorization from the Public Health Agency of Canada to travel to and enter Canada
- Post-secondary students can enter Canada if their designated learning institution (DLI) has an approved readiness plan in place. Review Federal travel exemptions and restrictions for international students
U.S. travellers transiting through B.C. to Alaska
The restriction of all non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border continues to be in effect.
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:
If people mislead officials at the border and do not proceed 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
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.
- Alberta travel advice
- Yukon travel restrictions
- Northwest Territories travel advice
Do your research before you travel and make sure your trip is right for you and right for the community you are visiting.
Several northern communities have their own travel restriction. These include:
- For Bella Coola (Nuxalk Nation and Bella Coola)
- For Bella Bella (Heiltsuk Nation)
- For Klemtu (Kitasoo / Xai’xais)
All air travellers, with some exceptions, are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering while travelling.
- Unless exempt, travellers returning to Canada are required to complete and submit the ArriveCAN application
- Review Government of Canada travel restrictions
- What to expect when travelling through YVR airport
- Check with your local airport for travel restrictions
Visit BC Ferries for information about what to expect on your journey including mask requirements, enclosed deck regulations, health screening, service reductions and current schedules.
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:
- Provide a doctor's letter indicating they require medical-assured loading for treatment at check-in
- Complete a Travel Assistance Program (TAP) form
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 Inland Ferry sailings
Provincial highway operations continue to provide safe and efficient travel.
- Check the DriveBC website for current highway conditions
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
Wearing a face mask is mandatory while onboard any public transit. This includes all services provided by Translink, BC Transit, BC Bus North, and the George Massey Tunnel Shuttle.
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.
Party-buses and limousines
Party-buses, limousines and any other vehicles with perimeter seating must abide by the latest regulations set out in the PHO order on gatherings and events. Resuming normal operations is at the discretion of the Provincial Health Officer. See also transportation services orders and guidance.
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.