By order and direction of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), all individuals, places of work and businesses in B.C. must significantly reduce their level of social interactions and travel.
Last updated: November 20, 2020
On this page:
- PHO order on province-wide restrictions
- Social gatherings and events
- Restaurants and bars
- Athletic activities
- Mask requirements
- Travel advisory
PHO order on province-wide restrictions
By order and direction of the PHO, all individuals, places of work and businesses in B.C. must significantly reduce social interactions and travel.
The order is in effect from November 19, 2020 at midnight to December 7, 2020 at midnight.
Social gatherings and events
No social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or core bubble. For example:
- Do not invite friends or extended family to your household
- Do not host gathering outdoors
- Do not gather in your backyard
- Do not have playdates for children
All events and community-based gatherings as defined in the PHO order – Gatherings and Events (PDF) are suspended. For example:
- Musical or theatre performances
- Seasonal activities
- Silent auctions
For most people, their core bubble is their immediate household. An immediate household is a group of people who live in the same dwelling. For example:
- If you have a rental suite in your home, the suite is a separate household
- If you live in an apartment or house with roommates, you are all members of the same household
For others, including people who live alone, their core bubble may also contain a partner, relative, friend or co-parent who lives in a different household. This should be a maximum of two people outside of those living in your immediate household.
People who live alone
For people who live alone, a core bubble is a maximum of two people you see regularly. They cannot host gatherings.
Welcoming your child home from university is okay. This is not a social gathering.
Restrictions by sector
Funerals, weddings and baptisms
Personal and home-based services
Rental and home sale viewings
Religious gatherings and worship services
These activities are not considered a social gathering:
- Going for a walk. You must make sure a walk does not turn into a group of people meeting outside
- Parents carpooling kids to and from school
- Grandparents providing child care
Restaurants, pubs and bars
The only change for restaurants, pubs and bars is you must wear a mask when not at a table and events are no longer allowed.
Restaurants, pubs and bars can continue to operate as long as they have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and employee protocols in place.
- Remember, a maximum of six people at a table and you cannot move between tables
WorkSafeBC will be conducting inspections to verify that COVID-19 Safety Plans remain effective. Establishments that are noncompliant with plan requirements may face orders and fines, and possible referral to public health which may result in a closure order.
Group indoor fitness activities
Businesses, recreation centres or other organizations that organize or operate high risk indoor group physical activities must suspend the following activities:
- Spin classes
- Hot yoga
- High intensity interval training (HIIT)
Businesses who close due to COVID-19 restrictions could be eligible to receive rent support of up to 90 percent.
Guidance on other fitness activities done with a group indoors will need to follow updated guidance that is being developed. These include:
- Dance studios
- Martial arts
Gyms and recreation facilities
Gyms and recreation facilities that offer individual workouts and personal training sessions can remain open as long as they have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that is strictly followed.
Sports games, competitions and practices
Games, competitions and practices can continue with no spectators and no travel.
- We are in viaSport’s Return to Sport Phase 3 with the exception of no spectators and no travel
No spectators are allowed at any sport activities under the order. The only people allowed to attend sport activities are those that provide care to a participant or player. For example, providing first aid.
Travel for athletic activities
Travel to, from and between communities for athletic activities like games, competitions, training and practice is prohibited under this order. For example:
- A team from Abbotsford cannot attend a training session in Chilliwack
- A team from Victoria cannot attend a practice in Richmond
High performance athletes, professional athletes and professional performers like dancers are not included in the order. To qualify as a high performance athlete, you must be:
- Identified by the Canadian Sports Institute Pacific as a high performance athlete affiliated with an accredited provincial or national sports organization
- Already training in B.C.
- Continuing to follow the safety guidelines of your provincial sports organization
Masks are now required for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces. People who cannot put on or remove a mask on their own are exempt. Masks for children under the age of 2 is not recommended.
- Employers are expected to enforce the mandatory mask policy with both employees and customers
- A customer can be refused entry or service if they do not wear a mask
Masks in public indoor settings
Masks are required in all indoor public settings and all retail stores. This includes:
- Malls, shopping centres
- Grocery stores
- Coffee shops
- Common areas in hotels
- Clothing stores
- Liquor stores
- Drug stores
- Community centres
- Recreation centres
- City Halls
- Restaurants and bars when not seated at a table
- Common areas in apartment buildings and condos
Masks at workplaces
Masks are required in all workplaces for shared work areas and areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained. This includes:
- Customer counters
- Break rooms
At this time, all non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province. For example:
- Do not travel for a vacation
- Do not travel to visit friends or family outside of your household or core bubble
What is essential travel?
Individual circumstances may affect whether a particular trip is considered essential or non-essential. Essential travel within B.C. includes:
- Regular travel for work within your region
- Travel for things like medical appointment and hospital visits
For example, if you live in Vancouver and work in Surrey you can continue to commute.
If you need to travel for essential reasons, take the same health and safety precautions you do at home.
- Wash your hands often
- Practice safe distancing, 2 m
- Travel only with yourself, household or pandemic bubble
- Stick to the outdoors whenever possible
- Clean spaces often
Travel for mountain sports
Ski and snowboard at your local mountains. For example, if you live in Vancouver, you should ski at Cypress, Grouse or Mt. Seymour.
Coming from outside of B.C.
At this time, people travelling to B.C. from another province or territory within Canada should only come for essential reasons. If you do travel, you are expected to follow the same travel guidelines as everyone else in B.C.
- The restriction of all non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border remains in effect
- Travellers to and from the United States going to and from Alaska must proceed directly to their destination and self-isolate during any necessary overnight stops
- International travellers returning to B.C. are required by law to self-quarantine for 14 days and complete the federal ArriveCAN application
Flights to and from B.C.
The order does not restrict flights entering and leaving B.C.
During a public health emergency under the Public Health Act, the PHO can make orders as needed. You must follow the orders.
Under the Government’s Emergency Program Act, some orders can be enforced by police or other compliance and enforcement officials. People who don’t follow these orders could be fined.
In addition to compliance activities by WorkSafe, an Environmental Health Officers team will focus on workplaces in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions to ensure COVID-19 Safety Plan compliance and enable rapid response and action.