COVID-19 Current Update & Response
Information Last Updated: March 27, 2020
Tourism Squamish is committed to providing our partners and members with reliable, accurate and timely information related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
As of Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Squamish Visitor Centre kiosks and the Squamish Store are closed, however the Squamish Adventure Centre restrooms and Caffe Garibaldi remain open. We will continue assisting visitors remotely via phone, email, webchats and social media.
If you have any questions regarding the closure or you would like to share information about your business with the Visitor Centre please email info [at] tourismsquamish.com
We encourage you to maintain contact with us, share your thoughts and we will continue to provide regular updates and information.
Feel free to reach out to Heather Kawaguchi, Director of Member Relations at heather [at] tourismsquamish.com or 604 815 4975 or reach Lesley Weeks, Executive Director at lesley [at] tourismsquamish.com or 604 815 5080.
Below are a range of resources arranged by topic and alphabetical order to assist you at this time.
Air travel from all international destinations to Canada has been restricted. Additional screening measures are in place at several airports including Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
As of March 18, 2020 YVR is one of four airports in Canada accepting international flights, with the others being Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (YUL) and Calgary International Airport (YYC).
For further information visit the Vancouver International Airport website.
B.C.'s Economic Response
British Columbians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will benefit from $5 billion in income supports, tax relief, and direct funding for people, businesses and services.
Visit the BC government’s COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information page to learn more about the measures in place and supports available for British Columbians.
B.C. State of Emergency
As of March 18, B.C. has declared a state of emergency province-wide to ensure federal, provincial and local resources are delivered in a joint, coordinated way.
Under a state of emergency, the province can acquire or use any land or personal property considered necessary to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects the pandemic. The province also has the power to control or prohibit travel to or from any area of B.C., and to procure, fix prices for or ration food, clothing, fuel, equipment, medical supplies or other essential supplies.
Provincial measures in place to contain the virus, including:
- Physical distancing orders are in place
- The temporary closure of the following businesses in BC:
- Salons, spas and personal services.
- Casinos, community gaming centres and bingo halls.
- Bars, pubs and nightclubs.
- Restaurants must move to takeout or delivery only
- Prohibiting gatherings or events larger than 50 people until further notice. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings and other similar events.
The state of emergency is in effect for two weeks but could be extended. Further details can be found here.
The District of Squamish and the Squamish Chamber of Commerce have put together a number of business resources to assist you with business continuity, operations, employees, recovery and financing. Tourism Squamish will continue to provide tourism-specific information and resources as it becomes available.
The Government of Canada has established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), businesses seeking support through BCAP should first contact their financial institutions for an assessment of their situation. Financial institutions will refer to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) their existing clients whose needs extend beyond what is available through the private sector alone.
Other Government of Canada measures include:
- Canada Revenue Agency tax deferral payments
- A 75% wage subsidy for small businesses
- Emergency Care Benefit
- Introducing the Emergency Support Benefit
- Extending the tax filing deadline
As you work to determine your unique path forward, Small Business BC has gathered the latest resources to help small businesses to get through this challenging time.
Business & Facilities Closures
Many Squamish businesses, including activities, attractions, transportation, retail stores and restaurants, have altered or currently suspended their operations. Please find a list of changes here, which will be updated frequently.
In addition to business closures, the District of Squamish has closed several facilities as of March 16, for further information please visit the District of Squamish website.
Canada’s Economic Response
On March 27, the Prime Minister announced further measures to support small businesses facing impacts of COVID‑19, including,
- a 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020.
- the new Canada Emergency Business Account.
- the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program.
On March 25, the government announced the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for people who have lost income due to COVID-19, providing $2,000 a month for four months to people who have lost their income because of COVID-19.
On March 18, the Prime Minister announced more support for workers and businesses through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, including:
- Up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households.
- Closing the border between Canada and the U.S. for non-essential travel until further notice.
Destination BC (DBC) COVID-19 Updates
Destination BC is providing up to date and relevant tourism-related COVID-19 updates, we encourage all members to review these updates regularly.
Messaging Guide for BC’s Tourism Industry
COVID-19 industry calls
Destination BC is holding weekly calls each Thursday morning with cross-provincial industry partners. During these calls, we are sharing facts, trends, data from research and analytics, and updates from sectors. These calls are a great opportunity for industry to hear more about what we know, including our plans to support BC tourism. The recordings will be posted below following each call:
BC Ferries are operating with some reduced services on select routes. For further information, please visit the BC Ferries website.
Squamish’s official health authority is Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), further information about COVID-19 can be found at the Vancouver Coastal Health website.
Parks Canada, Parks BC & Recreation and Trails BC
Effective, March 20, 2020 BC Parks are temporarily suspending services and closing facilities in most provincial parks.
All campgrounds, camping opportunities and accommodations will be closed until at least April 30; as we move through this pandemic this closure date will be reviewed. Full refunds will automatically be provided to existing reservation holders during this time and given the volume of cancellations, please allow 7-10 days for your cancellation and refund to be processed. Please do not cancel your own reservation as this will delay our ability to process your refund.
The Discover Camping reservation system will be suspended for all new reservations during this period of closure. When the closure has been lifted and facilities reopened, public notification will be posted.
Further information can be found here.
Effective March 25, 2020 Recreation and Trails BC has temporarily closed all recreation facilites and campgrounds until further notice, overnight camping and group gatherings at recreation sites is prohibited.
Further information can found here.
Effective March 19, 2020 Parks Canada is temporarily suspending all visitor services in all national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas across the country until further notice.
Parks Canada will limit its activities to basic critical operations. Further information regarding the closures can be found here.
Suspected cases of COVID-19
If you, an employee or a guest suspect you may have symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19 use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool, developed with the BC Ministry of Health, to help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for the virus. You can complete the assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to.
To arrange for further assessment or testing, call your local primary care provider or 8-1-1.
Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can call 7-1-1.
Travel Advisory & Border Services
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Health Agency of Canada’s level of risk is currently at a level 3, which recommends that travellers avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada.
Effective March 18, the Government of Canada announced borders will be closed to foreign nationals, with some exceptions such as essential services, aircrews, and diplomats. In addition, the U.S./Canada border will be closed to all non-essential travel.
Federal and provincial public health leaders have recommended that all travellers from outside of Canada self-isolate for 14 days.
For the latest travel advisories visit the Government of Canada website.
Please stay close to home and respect the travel advisories. If you are enjoying the outdoors in Squamish, make sensible choices, respect social distancing and choose low-risk activities.