Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Coastal Health believes travel within B.C. this summer – including destinations in our region such as the Central and Sunshine coasts and Sea-to-Sky communities – can be done in a way that reduces the risk of transmission and keeps communities safe.
“Our coastal communities are renowned for their natural destinations and attract people from all over the world. These communities might not see international travellers this summer, but we know there are many people from other parts of B.C. and Canada looking to visit our region this summer,” said Dr. Geoff McKee, VCH Medical Health Officer for the Coastal Community of Care. “Visitors have a responsibility to respect the communities they’re coming to, follow public health advice and prevent the spread of COVID-19 to these smaller communities.”
In order to manage the risk, residents and visitors need to take precautions. Tourism operators and other businesses are required to develop and implement COVID-19 safety plans that adhere to WorkSafeBC guidelines. We encourage people to notify VCH Health Protection if businesses are not following guidelines. Environmental Health Officers will respond to complaints from the public and take the appropriate enforcement action, if necessary. Residents should continue to take precautions, practicing good hygiene and physical distancing, as well as staying home if sick (and getting tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms).
Visitors are expected to respect community practices and restrictions and take precautions during their visit. Follow the Travel Manners set out by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry:
Check before you go
Fewer faces in bigger spaces
If sick, stay home
Wash your hands
Keep a safe physical distance
Come prepared, bring supplies
Respect travel advisories
Travel to Canada for non-essential reasons, such as for tourism, is currently prohibited. Visitors arriving from international destinations for essential reasons are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
VCH continues to monitor cases throughout our region and will alter recommendations as necessary. While there can be cases anywhere in B.C., if we follow the public health guidance and continue working together, we will be better prepared.
COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets when a person who is sick coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread when a healthy person touches an object or surface (e.g. a doorknob or a table) with the virus on it, and then touches their mouth, nose or eyes before washing their hands. Most people who get COVID-19 have only mild disease, but a few people can get very sick and may need to go to hospital. The symptoms of COVID-19 may include fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of smell and/or diarrhea. Visit vch.ca/covid19 for more information.
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is responsible for the delivery of $3.6 billion in community, hospital and long-term care to more than one million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola. VCH also provides specialized care and services for people throughout B.C., and is the province’s hub of health care education and research.
Public Affairs Specialist
Vancouver Coastal Health