Skip to main content

Travel

British Columbians should avoid all non-essential travel at this time. Stay local and travel only when needed. If you need to travel, follow the same public health guidance you use at home to prevent COVID-19.
Last updated: November 19, 2020 at 5:30 PM
British Columbians have been advised to avoid travel within the province or outside of the province at this time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is requested that you do not travel to other regions unless it is essential. People travelling to B.C. from another province or territory within Canada should only come for essential reasons. For more information on province-wide restrictions, please visit the government of BC website

Essential travel is travelling for work, school, medical appointments, and to obtain groceries, medicines, and other essential items. It can also mean travelling to care for someone like a family member who is ill.

Non-essential travel is travel for tourism, entertainment, or recreation. Stay local for these activities. For example ski and snowboard at your local mountain. 
An existing order also halts travel to other regions for sports. 

All travellers arriving in B.C. from outside of Canada are required by law to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. You must complete the federal ArriveCAN application digitally before entering Canada. After entry into Canada, report your symptoms through the ArriveCAN app or call 1-833-641-0343 every day until the end of your 14-day isolation. Visit the Government of Canada for more details for incoming travellers; information for essential workers arriving in B.C. from outside of Canada is available on the Guidance page.

Practise COVID-19 precautions 

Monitor your health

Monitor your health before, during and after travelling. 

  • Stay home and do not travel if you develop symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • If you, or anyone in your travelling group, develops symptoms while travelling, self-isolate and stay away from others. Contact your health care provider, dial 8-1-1 or use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to help you find out if you need further assessment or to be tested for COVID-19. If you are travelling outside of B.C. when symptoms develop, you will need to seek care locally.

Plan ahead

  • Be respectful of communities you plan to visit:
    • Be as self-sufficient as possible by bringing food and other supplies with you.
    • Keep your stay short.
    • Make as few stops as possible along the way.
  • Be prepared to practice the same public health guidance and precautions away, as you would at home:
    • Maintain a 2 metre physical distance with people outside of your travel group especially in line ups.
    • Wear a mask if you cannot keep a safe distance from people outside of your travel group.
    • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly.
    • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow. Throw away your tissue and wash or sanitize your hands as soon as possible.
  • “Know before you go”- It is important to check with regions or communities before travelling and respect each community’s decision.
    • Check with the places you are hoping to visit (eg. hotels, restaurants) to get the latest information on closures or restrictions for out of town visitors.
    • For current conditions and travel advisories on BC ferries or roads, visit the BC Ferries or Drive BC websites.
    • For information on Provincial or National parks, recreation areas, historic sites and campgrounds visit the BC Parks or Parks Canada websites.
    • Some Indigenous communities in B.C. remain closed to visitors. They look forward to welcoming visitors in future when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, please visit Indigenous Tourism BC’s website for a list of Indigenous experiences in the province that are currently open to visitors.

Vacation accommodations

  • The Provincial Health Officer’s Order on Gatherings and Events limits the number of people in vacation accommodations, including for house, cabin, yurt and boat rentals, as well as hotel rooms, to the capacity of the space, plus up to a maximum of six visitors and guests from different households need to keep a distance of two metres from each other. Contact information for all guests and visitors must be collected.
  • Guidance for owners and operators of hotels in B.C. can find information on the Hotels and tourism page.

Travelling to, from and within B.C.

The operators and services that help you get from one place to another are taking steps to protect passengers throughout their journey. Some of these measures include screening passengers for symptoms, limiting the number of people in terminals and buildings, installing physical barriers like plexiglass and increasing cleaning. You can also help reduce the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 by taking the precautions listed above.


 

All air passengers are required to have a mask or face covering during air travel and at airport screening points when they cannot physically distance from others, or as directed by airline employees or public health officials. Passengers may also be asked to have their temperature taken and asked COVID-19 specific ‘health check' questions before boarding a plane. Please check your individual airline’s website for more detailed information.‎

 

All walk-on and vehicle passengers will be required to wear masks or face coverings at all times when at terminals and on inside decks on ferries. Visit the BC Ferries website for more specific COVID-19 ferry travel information.‎

 

When travelling on VIA Rail, passengers must wear a mask at all times in stations and on board trains, except when eating or drinking. COVID-19 “health checks” will be done before passengers are allowed to board trains.  For more information on rail travel and COVID-19 visit the VIA Rail website

Amtrak is not currently offering service within B.C.

 

B.C. offers several options when travelling by bus. Visit the HelloBC website to find more information on bus services within the province.

Metro Vancouver’s buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and the West Coast Express commuter train are operated by Translink. The rest of the province is under BC Transit. Both Translink and BC Transit require all passengers to wear masks or face coverings while on transit vehicles. 

For all methods of transportation, masks or face coverings are generally not required for:

  • Children under 2 years of age
  • People with a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a mask or face covering


COVID-19 exposures during travel

For information related to confirmed cases of COVID-19 on domestic and international flights, cruises and places or events, please visit our COVID-19 exposures page.

Travelling between provinces

At this time, people travelling to B.C. from another province or territory within Canada should only come for essential reasons. If you are travelling to B.C. from another province or territory within Canada, you are expected to follow the same guidelines as everyone else in B.C. and travel safely and respectfully. 

British Columbians travelling to other provinces or territories should check the region’s public health information to find out about travel restrictions and follow the local, provincial or territorial guidance. The BC Government website offers some information on inter-provincial travel.

International travel

Global travel advisories due to COVID-19

  • Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice
  • Avoid all cruise ship travel outside of Canada

See the Government of Canada website for information on travel advisories.

Arriving in Canada

Unless you are exempt, all travellers arriving in B.C. from outside of Canada are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days and complete the federal ArriveCAN application before arriving. Essential workers returning to work in B.C. after travel outside of Canada must follow separate precautions which can be found on the Guidance page.

There is further information for visitors, those uniting with family in Canada, temporary workers, and students arriving in Canada on the Government of Canada website.

Travellers to and from the United States going to and from Alaska are permitted to enter B.C. on condition they proceed directly to their destination and self-isolate during any necessary overnight stops. More information is available on the BC Government website.

Leaving Canada

Some countries are requiring COVID-19 tests prior to travel. In B.C., testing is generally not available through the provincial health care system for people without symptoms including routine screening for travel. There are a few private pay clinics that offer testing for a fee. Please contact these clinics directly to learn more and to arrange for this testing. A list of private testing clinics is available on the Testing page.

Border screening

The Government of Canada now requires temperature screening for all passengers flying within or to Canada. This screening is performed at security or at the gate. All people entering Canada by air, sea, or land are required to self-isolate for 14 days even if they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Visit the Government of Canada’s website for the latest travel informationtravel alerts and advice for travellers without symptoms returning to Canada.

SOURCE: Travel ( )
Page printed: . Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.

Copyright © BC Centre for Disease Control. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright © 2020 Provincial Health Services Authority.