Travel and COVID-19

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Travel restrictions for non-essential travel in B.C. are in place until May 25 to stop the spread of COVID-19 and variants of concern. Fines can be given to people who leave their region for non-essential travel. Stay local and stay in your community. Do not travel for non-essential reasons.

On this page: 


Restrictions on travel between regions of the province

This content is a summary of the Emergency Program Act (EPA) Ministerial Order No. M1721. It is not legal advice and does not provide an interpretation of the law. In the event of any conflict or difference between this webpage and the order, the order is correct and legal and must be followed.

Under the EPA, an order restricting non-essential travel between certain regions of the province is in place until May 25 at midnight. This includes travel for:

  • Vacations, weekend getaways and tourism activities
  • Visiting family or friends for social reasons
  • Recreation activities

Travel regions

The order combines B.C.’s five health authorities into three regions of the province. Travel into and out of the regions for non-essential reasons is not allowed and is now prohibited by law. The regions are:

  1. Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health)
  2. Northern/Interior (Northern Health and Interior Health, including Bella Coola Valley, the Central Coast and Hope)
    • Residents from the Hope area can travel to Chilliwack for essential goods and supplies
    • Residents from the Bella Coola Valley and Central Coast area can travel to Port Hardy for essential goods and supplies
  3. Vancouver Island (Vancouver Island Health)

Find my health authority

Enforcement

The goal of the order is education and reminding people about travel restrictions.

If the restrictions need to be enforced, police can issue a fine. At the discretion of police, people not obeying the travel restrictions may be subject to a $575 fine.

Police will not be engaging in random checks. Periodic road checks may be set up at key travel corridors during times associated with leisure travel to remind travellers of the order.

People from outside the province who are travelling to B.C. for non-essential reasons can be subject to the same enforcement measures.

Reasons for essential travel

Essential travel between regions is allowed. Essential reasons include:

  • Returning to your principal residence, moving or helping someone move
  • Work, both paid and unpaid (volunteer)
  • Commercial transportation of goods
  • Getting health care or social services or helping someone get those services
  • Court appearance, complying with a court order or parole check-in
  • Exercising parental responsibilities
  • Child care services
  • Attending classes at a post-secondary institution or school
  • Responding to a critical incident, like search and rescue operations
  • Providing care to a person because of a psychological, behavioural or health condition, or a physical, cognitive or mental impairment
  • Visiting a resident (as an essential visitor) at long-term care or assisted living facility
  • Attending a funeral
  • Travelling under a PHO variance. For example, BCHL

Do not go on long trips within your region. Now is not the time for overnight vacations away from your community. Stay close to home. Visit your local beach, hiking trail or park.

Additional measures

Additional measures are in place to support the restriction on non-essential travel, including:

  • Increased signage on highways and at border crossings reminding travellers of current restrictions
  • Hotels and resorts eliminating or cancelling bookings from out-of-area guests

BC Ferries

From April 23 to May 25, BC Ferries will:

  • Ask travellers if their passage is essential. Recreational travellers will be asked not to board vessels headed to a different region
    • If recreational travellers insist on boarding, they will be allowed to board and police will be notified
  • Suspend adding extra sailings during weekends, holidays and peak travel periods
  • Notify all travellers with reservations that the travel order is in place and allow cancellations free of charge

BC Ferries will continue to provide regular service to ensure commercial vehicle traffic and essential travel can be maintained.

BC Parks reservations

If you have a camping reservation in another region, you can reschedule or cancel for free at any time and get a full refund.


Entering B.C.

From another province or territory

Road signs are up at the Alberta/B.C. border reminding travellers that all travel at this time should be essential. People from any province or territory are subject to the same travel restrictions as everyone in B.C.

If you travel to B.C. for essential reasons from another province or territory, you do not need to self-quarantine when entering B.C.

From a United States border crossing

All non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border is restricted. Additional screening measures are in place at key points of entry.

From an international destination

To limit the further spread of COVID-19, travel restrictions are in place across all ports of entry. The Canadian border is closed to most international travellers. You are allowed to enter Canada if you are a:

  • Canadian citizen
  • Permanent resident of Canada
  • Temporary resident of Canada
  • Protected person (refugee status)
  • Person registered under the Indian Act
  • Foreign national with a non-discretionary (non-optional) reason to travel to Canada

Find out if you can travel to Canada


Federal entry requirements

Unless you are exempt, all travellers entering Canada are required by law to:

There are additional quarantine requirements if you arrive in Canada by air, including a mandatory 3-night hotel stay at your own cost.


Leaving B.C.

Do not travel outside of B.C. unless it is essential.


Changes to transportation services

Transportation services may be impacted by COVID-19.