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COVID-19 Updates

  • BC Allows Outdoor Gatherings of Up to 10 People

    March 12, 2021

    Effective March 11, 2021, British Columbians can gather outside in groups of up to 10 people. PHO Dr. Bonnie Henry amended her public health order Thursday, which had banned outdoor gatherings since November. The new guidelines mean families can have play dates and friends can meet outside for a coffee, she said. Continue to use COVID-19 layers of protection and maintain physical distancing during outdoor gatherings. All restrictions for indoor gatherings remain in place. 

    Henry advised people should stick to the same group of people, rather than meet with several different groups. Kids who meet should stick to their same school cohorts, she said. Despite the province's case numbers hovering around 500 per day in recent weeks, Henry said the riskiest settings are indoors and the chance of spread decreases outside.

    "It is important after all these months to focus on some of the things we can do safely," she said. "Outdoors is where we need to focus right now."

    To learn more about the updates, see the March 2021 update HERE.

  • BC Moves into Phase 2 of COVID-19 Immunization Plan

    March 2, 2021

    Health officials announced the accelerated timeline on Monday March 1st, as the province moved into the second phase of the COVID-19 Immunization Plan. The second phase will focus on having seniors 80+ (and Indigenous people over 65) immunized.

    Starting Monday, health authorities will contact residents and staff of independent living centres, and those living in seniors' supportive housing, as well as home-care support clients and staff.

    Seniors who do not live in care can call to book their own appointment based on a staggered schedule, which is as follows: 

    • From March 8: Seniors over the age of 90 (those born in or before 1931) and Indigenous people over the age of 65 (those born in or before 1956).
    • From March 15: Seniors over the age of 85 (those born in or before 1936).
    • From March 22: Seniors 80 and older (those born in or before 1941).

    The phone numbers are listed on the provincial government's website. Phone lines are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. PT. Those who live in the Fraser Health region have the option to book online.

    If a senior cannot call to book themselves, a family member, friend or support person can do so on their behalf. The immunization clinic location will be confirmed on the call, with vaccinations starting as early as March 15 for the first group.

    To learn more about the BC Government’s COVID-19 Immunization plan, see HERE.


  • Hotel quarantine measures for air travellers come into effect Feb 22: Trudeau

    February 12, 2021

    Air travellers will have to stay in a hotel at their own expense for 72 hours upon arriving to Canada while they wait for the results of Covid-19 testing.

  • BC PHO Extends Province-wide Restrictions; Order Now In Effect Until Further Notice

    February 5, 2021

    On February 5, 2021, PHO Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the extension of the province-wide health order restricting gatherings, activities and events. The order that came into effect November 19, 2020 at midnight will be kept in place until further notice based on direction from the PHO.

    To learn more about the province-wide restrictions, please visit the BC Government website.

  • Federal Government to Introduce Quarantine Hotel Stays for International Travelers

    January 29, 2021

    On January 29, 2021, the prime minister said that as soon as possible, likely in the coming weeks, the government will be introducing mandatory PCR COVID-19 testing at the airport for people returning to Canada, on top of the pre-boarding test already required. Travellers will then have to wait up to three days at an approved hotel for their test results, at their own expense, which Trudeau said is expected to be more than $2,000. Those with a negative test will then be able to finish their 14-day quarantine at home, with increased surveillance. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam added that returnees will also be swabbed on day 10. She also said travellers who have been vaccinated abroad will still be subject to the quarantine rules, but added that's under discussion.

    Beginning next week, all international passenger flights, including from the US, will land at the Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal airports.

    Lastly, PM Trudeau said that, in the coming weeks, Canada will begin requiring non-essential travellers to show a negative test before entry at the land border with the US.


    More details regarding the implementation of this announcement will be released soon.

  • Canadian Airlines suspending flights from Mexico and the Carribean, among other ‘Sun Destinations’

    January 29, 2021

    Canada's main airlines have agreed to cancel service to the Caribbean and Mexico and the federal government is introducing new mandatory quarantine rules as it tries to discourage international travel. Starting January 31 until April 30, 2021, Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing and Air Transat have agreed to suspend service to some sun destinations and will be making arrangements with their customers who are in these regions now to organize flights home. 

    Beginning next week, all international passenger flights, including from the US, will land at the Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal airports.

    More details regarding the implementation of this announcement will be released soon.

  • New BC Support For Professional Artists and Others Employed in the Arts

    January 13, 2021

    The Pivot for Individuals program assists professional artists, cultural practitioners, and arts administrators to adapt and transition their practice in response to changes in the arts and culture sector or undertake learning activities to sustain or advance their career.

    Funding is available up to $12,000. 

    To learn more or to apply for the grant, see Pivot for Individuals.

  • Province-wide Ban on Social Gatherings Extended to February 5, 2021, Masks Remain Mandatory in Indoor Public Spaces

    January 7, 2021

    By order and direction of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), the restriction on all events and social gatherings in effect from November 19, 2020, has been extended until midnight February 5, 2021 at midnight.

    To read more about the restrictions, see the BC Government Province-wide Restrictions.

  • Pre-departure COVID-19 testing and negative results to be required for all air travellers coming to Canada starting January 7

    January 6, 2021

    The Minister of Transport is requiring that, effective January 7, 2021, at 12:01 am EST, all air passengers five years of age or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada.

    Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada.

    Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine.

    All travellers will have their quarantine plans reviewed by a government official and, if not suitable, will be required to quarantine in a federal quarantine facility. Travellers to Canada must use the ArriveCAN App or website and provide accurate contact information and their mandatory 14-day quarantine plan on or before entry. Violating any instructions provided when you enter Canada is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.

    Canadians who are currently travelling and returning to Canada soon should start immediately arranging for a COVID-19 test, to avoid a delay in their return to Canada. Canadians who are planning to travel abroad should consider how they will meet these requirements before departure. 

  • End of Suspension of Limitation Periods

    December 29, 2020

    On December 21, 2020 the Provincial Government announced that the suspension of limitation periods is no longer linked to the duration of the state of emergency, and the suspension will end on March 25, 2021. For more information, see the Court’s amended COVID-19 Notice No. 34, here, and Order in Council 655/2020, here.