COVID-19 Reference Guide

COVID 19, coronavirus, hand, hand washing,

In an effort to keep the public informed and help residents navigate to timely information, we have compiled a list of current public health orders and official government announcements. New information and updates will be highlighted daily.

Public Health Orders & Government Announcements 

(Updated May 21 @ 8:00 a.m.)

Emergency Status

⛔️ Public Health Emergency declared, effective March 17, 2020.
⛔️ Provincial State of Emergency declared, effective March 18, 2020.
⛔️ Provincial State of Emergency extended to May 12, 2020. 

BC Restart Plan is currently in Phase 2 of 4. Expect to go into Phase 3 in June. 

Physical Distancing

  • *NEW* Phase 2: Physical distancing - gathering in small groups of no more than six people is permitted, but continue to maintain physical distance between households
  • No gatherings larger than 50 people
  • Maintain 2-metre distance from others - even when in small gatherings
  • Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings
  • Stay home as much as possible; do not visit with friends and family
  • Go outside for fresh air and exercise, but maintain distance from others
  • Self-isolate if you are sick, even with symptoms other than COVID-19
  • Violations of Public Health Orders can carry fines of over $25,000 or jail time

Official Information Sources

This is a regularly evolving situation, with changes on a day-by-day and even hour-by-hour basis. Thus, please take note of the following links so that you can stay up to date:

Official Health Information on COVID-19
Be cautious of information you read about the virus online. Stick with reputable sites such as:

Travel Advisories & Border Control
Travel advisories and border control directives are issued by the Government of Canada. Visit Travel Advisories to see the latest advice on travel.

On March 25, 2020, the federal government implemented a self-isolation plan for returning international travellers on select flights under the Quarantine Act. Maximum penalties for breaking self-isolation orders include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months.

Effective April 8, 2020, all international travellers returning to B.C. are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days and complete a self-isolation plan. Self-isolation plans must be reviewed by provincial government officials before travellers can return home.

  1. Health
  2. Employment & Income Assistance
  3. Housing
  • COVID-19 Regional Town Hall - Island Health, April 21, 2020, 7:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.
  • Scheduled elective surgeries and procedures are being postponed
  • Only essential visits allowed to Island Health facilities
  • Parking at all health authority owned/operated health care sites is now free
  • Choose virtual health care services whenever available, physicians will be compensated
  • Self-assessment tool and support app
  • Physician notes are NOT required for prescription refills by pharmacists
  • Dentists should provide emergency services only
  • MSP coverage wait times are waived for those who have been out of province and returned
  • Island Health has activated a donations portal for residents who wish to donate products or services
  • If you are looking for medical information about COVID-19 call 8-1-1
  • If you are looking for non-medical information about COVID-19:
    • Call 1-888-COVID-19
    • Text 604-630-0300
    • Online at BC CDC
  1. Seniors & Students
  2. Children & Families
  3. Recreation & Outdoors
  1. Retail & Service
  2. Business
  3. Agriculture & Food
  4. Transportation
  • *NEW* Phase 2 re-opening: Restaurants, pubs, cafés may resume standing and seated service at reduced capacity, provided enhanced operating protocols to enable distancing orders are in place
  • *NEW* Phase 2 re-opening: Personal service establishments (salons, spas, massage, tattoo parlours, etc.) may re-open with enhanced operating protocols in place. 
  • Do not use reusable bags or containers when shopping
  • The resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, cleaning products and other essential supplies is prohibited
  •  Only food vendors are allowed at farmers markets or community markets. Online farmer’s markets opening soon
  • BC Ferries: Only essential travel. Passengers may stay inside their vehicles the entire trip
  • BC Transit: Rear door, fare-free boarding on all buses. Those with accessibility needs can still load at front
  • ICBC customers on a monthly payment plan may defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty
  • Restaurants are open for pick-up/delivery service only
  • Liquor distilleries are now permitted to produce alcohold-based sanitizer
  • Read more: Essential Services List 

The following remain:closed throughout BC:

  • Liquor-primary establishments that do not serve meals (i.e. nightclubs)