COVID-19 Alerts & Updates | Bowen Island

COVID-19 Alerts & Updates

Effective April 11, 2022, the Province of BC has lifted COVID-19 restrictions. However, we will update this page if and when needed. Note: businesses, event organizers, and organizations are entitled to require COVID-19 health and safety protocols and individuals are requested to be responsible and respectful in an effort to limit the spread of the virus. Read on for more details.

Aprill 11 province-wide COVID restrictions lifted
April 11, 2022 – BC lifts all COVID-19 restrictions

By order of the Provincial Health Officer, COVID-19 health restrictions have been lifted and BC’s proof of vaccination requirement is no longer required. However, individual businesses, event organizers and organizations are entitled to continue COVID-19 health and safety protocols and are entitled to request customers and patrons to abide, as well. This may include wearing a mask and requesting proof of vaccination.

Given that COVID-19 continues to be spread by community transmission and in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus, individuals are encouraged to be responsible and respectful of others, particularly in public spaces.

The Government of Canada requires all travellers aged 12 years and older to be fully vaccinated and to show proof of vaccination to use federally regulated travel, including airports, trains, and cruise ships.

For international travellers, please refer to the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 webpage: Travel, testing and borders.

effective Dec 22 new province-wide COVID restrictionsDecember 22, 2021 – new province-wide restrictions are in effect until January 18 and January 31, 2022

In an effort to slow the transmission of the fast-spreading omicron variant, the BC Government has introduced new province-wide restrictions that are in effect until January 18, 2022:
• Indoor organized gatherings of any size are not allowed. This includes gatherings like New Year’s Eve parties, weddings or other celebrations.
• Indoor events at venues can only have 50% capacity. This includes events like concerts, sports or movies.
• Bars, nightclubs and lounges are closed.
• Restaurants, cafes and pubs can have a maximum of 6 people at each table. Customers must stay seated and cannot move between or visit other tables. Masks are required when not seated.
• Adult gyms, fitness centres and dance studios are closed.

The following restrictions are in effect until January 31, 2022.

• Indoor personal gatherings are limited to your household plus 10 visitors or 1 other household. Everyone 12 + must be fully vaccinated
• All sports tournaments and related travel are not allowed.

The Public Health Office continues to strongly recommend the following safety protocols:

• Keep gatherings small and only with those you know are fully vaccinated.
• Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor.
• Reduce social interactions.
• Ensure proper ventilation indoors by opening windows.
• Avoid all travel, if you’re not fully vaccinated.
• Follow the current federal travel advisory.
• Stay home if you feel sick.

For more detailed guidance, please visit the BC Government’s COVID-19 webpage.

title graphic: proof of vaccination required
September 13, 2021 – Proof of Vaccination Required
As of Monday September 13, 2021, proof of vaccination is now required to access some events, services and businesses. The easiest way to show proof is using the BC Vaccine Card.

If you’re dining out, attending a sporting event or going to the gym, these are a few of the places that you’re now required to show proof of vaccination. When a host or business owner asks to see your proof of vaccination, please be respectful and remember that they are just fulfilling the lawful requirements of the BC Government and the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). As Dr. Bonnie Henry says: Be kind. Be calm. Be safe. Read on for more details and helpful links.

By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), all individuals aged 12+ must show proof of one vaccination before entering the following places and effective October 24 all individuals 12+ must show proof of two vaccinations before entering the following places. NOTE: all individuals 12+ must wear a mask in all public indoor places.

list of places that require proof of vaccination and those that don'tIf you’re from outside BC or an international visitor:
People who aren’t from BC must follow the same requirements and provide proof of vaccination and Identification (ID).•

People from other Canadian provinces or territories must show:
• Provincially/territorially officially recognized vaccine record
• Valid government photo ID
• A printable document that includes all Canadian proof of vaccination records will be available soon.

International visitors must show:
• Proof of vaccination they used to enter Canada (all international visitors entering Canada will have used ArriveCAN)
• Passport

For more detailed information, please visit the BC Government’s Vaccine Card webpage.

title graphic international visitors
September 7, 2021 – Borders open to international travellers
Effective Tuesday September 7, 2021, foreign nationals who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption can enter Canada for discretionary travel. For more information and for the latest requirements, please visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Vaccinated Traveller webpage. Note: travel requirements are subject to change as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
masks required indoor settings graphic
August 25, 2021 – Masks Required in Public Indoor Spaces
As of Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, masks must be worn by all individuals aged 12+ in all indoor public spaces throughout B.C. to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 as B.C. prepares for the fall and respiratory illness season.
The following is a list of some of the common public spaces:
• malls, shopping centres, coffee shops and retail and grocery stores;
• liquor and drug stores;
• airports, city halls, libraries, community and recreation centres;
• restaurants, pubs and bars (unless seated);
• on public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle;
• areas of office buildings where services to the public are provided;
• common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity;
• common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations; and
• inside schools for all K-12 staff, visitors and students in grades 4-12.

BC Government Restart Plan banner
May 25, 2021 – Step 1 Restart Plan
The Province has entered Step 1 of the Restart Plan. The criteria for Step 1 is at least 60% of the 18+ population vaccinated with first dose, along with stable case counts and COVID-19 hospitalizations.

PHO guidance
• Physical distancing and masks continue to be required in public indoor settings.
• If you or anyone in your family feels sick stay home and get tested immediately.

The following activities are now allowed:
• Recreational travel within home health region only. No recreational travel across health regions.
• Maximum of five visitors or one household allowed for indoor personal gatherings.
• Maximum of 10 people for outdoor personal gatherings.
• Maximum of 10 people for seated indoor organized gatherings with safety protocols.
• Maximum of 50 people for seated outdoor organized gatherings with safety protocols.
• Indoor and outdoor dining for up to six people with safety protocols.
• Resume outdoor sports (games) with no spectators, low-intensity fitness with safety protocols.
• Start gradual return to workplaces.
• Return of indoor in-person faith-based gatherings (reduced capacity) based on consultation with public health.

For complete health and safety guidelines, please visit the BC Government’s Restart webpage.
Step 1 Restart graphic information
March 29, 2021 – Province tightens restrictions
To address the rise in COVID-19 cases and the spread of variants, the BC Government announced a 3-week circuit breaker. Until midnight April 19, there are new province-wide restrictions that prohibit indoor activities, such as dining, exercise classes and religious services. The province urges residents to only travel for essential needs, to limit social interactions, and to work from home whenever possible. Please stay close to home. Stay in your bubble. And take your activities outside, including dining and supporting local restaurants. Let’s all do our part now, so that we can travel freely sooner.

Read the March 29 press release.

February 5, 2021 – Province-wide restrictions extended until further notice
The BC Government has extended the public health order indefinitely. This PHO restricts social interactions, gatherings and non-essential travel. Here’s the excerpt from the BC Government website:

  • Travel advisory
    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 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 appointments 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 core bubble
    • Stick to the outdoors whenever possible
    • Clean spaces often
    • Wear a mask in indoor spaces

Thank you for your cooperation during these challenging times. We look forward to welcoming you to visit Bowen Island in the near future and we encourage you to plan your future visit now, so that you can make the most of your time when you’re here. If you need any tips or recommendations, please send us an email:

You can read the BC Government’s full public health order here.
*****Stay Local, Support Local

December 7, 2020 – Province-wide restrictions extended until at least January 8, 2021
In an effort to reduce COVID-19, the BC Government extended province-wide restrictions until January 8, 2021. In support of the public health order, please do not visit Bowen Island for a vacation or for recreational purposes. Travel only for essential needs and reduce your social interactions. For more information, visit the BC Government’s website.

We hope to welcome you back early in the new year. In the meantime, you can plan your visit, reserve your accommodation and support Bowen Island’s small businesses by purchasing a gift certificate. Now more than ever, we all need to buy local and support small businesses.
New non-essential travel ban until Dec. 7
November 19, 2020 – New province-wide COVID-19 Travel & Health Restrictions
Effective today and until at least December 7, 2020, all individuals, places of work and businesses in BC must significantly reduce their level of social interactions and travel. Avoid all non-essential travel: do not travel for a vacation; do not travel to visit friends or family outside of your household or core bubble.

Please postpone visiting Bowen Island until after December 7. We miss you! But Bowen Island is not going anywhere. We want to welcome you safely and ensure that when you visit, you can enjoy all that the island has to offer.

Let’s all do our part to stop the surge in COVID-19 transmissions. These new safety restrictions are inconvenient, but they’re not forever. So let’s flatten the curve. Again!

Read the full November 17 provincial guidelines.
*****Postpone visiting Bowen Island until Nov 23
November 7, 2020 – New Travel & Health Restrictions Metro Vancouver Area

Effective today, the BC Government announced new restrictions in the Metro Vancouver health regions in an effort to reduce COVID-19 transmissions. The new orders focus on social gatherings, indoor group exercises, workplaces and travel – only travel for essential needs.

Therefore we ask all individuals to please postpone visiting Bowen Island for recreational and leisure purposes at this time. As requested by Dr. Bonnie Henry: “Right now we need to go back to what we were doing in March and April and May, where it was essential travel only… we are advising in the strongest terms that people need to stay in their local community, reduce their social interactions and travel when it’s essential.”

These new health orders are in effect until noon Monday November 23. Let’s all do our part to flatten the curve during this crucial time. Stay safe everyone.

Contact us if you have questions.

Bowen Island Comback Campaign
August 31, 2020 – Island Comeback Campaign
Please shop local. Your support makes a tremendous difference to our small businesses. COVID-19 has impacted all our lives and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Now is the time to shop local, to support all our small businesses and services who make our Westcoast island communities unique. Bowen Island is proud to be a part of the Island Comeback campaign. Here’s more information about supporting Bowen Island’s small businesses. Gift-giving tip: Buy a gift certificate this holiday season.
*****Masks required BC Ferries, Translink and Bowen shops & restaurants
August 24, 2020 – BC Ferries and Translink Require Masks Effective Monday August 24, all BC Ferries and Translink passengers are required to wear a mask. So please travel with your own mask so that you are not denied boarding. Also note, many Bowen Island shops, restaurants and service providers require patrons to wear a mask, as well. Thank you for using your travel manners while visiting!

Welcome, visit with care
Welcome . . . please visit with care. As of June 24, the Province is officially in Phase 3 of the Restart Plan, so British Columbians are allowed to travel for leisure and recreational pursuits. We look forward to welcoming you back to Bowen Island but please ensure that you practice the COVID-19 health and safety protocols so that you can have a safe and enjoyable visit. As Dr. Bonnie Henry says “…make sure we use our travel manners…the things we are doing at home, we need to take with us when we are travelling.”

Please contact us by email if you have specific questions.

#explorebclocal Destination BC
May 28, 2020 – Phase 2 of BC’s Restart Continues – Stay in Your Home Community
BC moved into Phase 2 of the province’s restart plan on May 19. This means that some businesses have reopened under new and strict health protocols. BC residents are still requested to stay home as much as possible and to remain in our home community. We request people to postpone visiting Bowen Island until the province moves into Phase 3, which my occur in late June or early July, depending on COVID-19 transmission rates.

In the meantime, please #ExploreBCLocal. Get outside, explore your neighbourhood, and support your local shops, restaurants and services. Our community businesses need our support more than ever!

Bowen Island shops and restaurants welcome your support – please check out our listings. Buy a gift certificate now and enjoy your purchase when you visit. The Island Comeback campaign is a new initiative that makes gift-certificate purchases easy and convenient.

May 11, 2020 – Travel Restrictions Still In Effect for Holiday Weekend
Health Minister Adrian Dix requests British Columbians to stay home this holiday weekend and to avoid unnecessary travel for recreation or tourism pursuits. “Stay apart, stay local, stay safe,” Dix said. “We can’t let up.” 

Dr. Bonnie Henry continues to stress the importance of physical distancing, warning that despite her encouragement for people to get outside, people should still stick to their families and keep a safe distance from others. 

BC Ferries logo

BC Ferries is asking customers to follow the direction of the Province of British Columbia to avoid non-essential travel and #StayHome this Victoria Day long weekend.
Measures have been put in place for customers that must travel for essential reasons:
☑ #COVID19 screening is in effect
☑ Routes are operating at 50% capacity
☑ Food & retail outlets at terminals and on board are closed until further notice
Our crews remain focused on transporting vital goods & services, healthcare workers & first responders to coastal communities.

BIM logo
Bowen Island Municipality reminds everyone to avoid non-essential travel.
With the long weekend approaching and warm weather in the forecast, Bowen Island Municipality is reminding people who want to visit Bowen Island that now is not the time. We are asking you to stay close to home and avoid non-essential travel such as for tourism and recreation. We also suggest islanders continue to limit community interactions and refrain from extending invitations to visitors. Read full May 11 news release here.

March 25, 2020 – BC Ferries restrictions
BC Ferries asks all travellers to avoid all non-essential ferry travel during the COVID-19 outbreak. Avoid travel for recreational activities and tourism pursuits. “None of us should be travelling if it is not essential,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries president and CEO. Here’s the link to Mark Collin’s video statement.

BIM COVID-19 sign March 25

March 22, 2020 – Visit Bowen Island Later
Stay home. Stay safe. Let’s flatten COVID-19.

Please stay home and stay safe. Even if you feel well, please don’t travel or socialize in groups. Each of us is vulnerable to COVID-19 and we may, without knowing, become exposed to the virus and then transmit it to others. We need to act now to minimize the spread of COVID-19. It is very important to follow the recommended health protocols of social distancing, proper hygiene, and, if needed, social isolation. If we all do our best efforts now, we may be able to avoid infection, flatten the curve and get back to a normal life sooner. So, please, visit #bowenisland…later. Think very carefully about even leaving your own home. You’re much safer if you simply stay home.

March 20, 2020 – COVID-19 Pandemic Press Release
Please do not visit Bowen Island at this time.

Today, the Bowen Island Municipality and Tourism Bowen Island are asking individuals to please postpone visiting Bowen Island until after federal and provincial health officials lift COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions and social-distancing advisories. Bowen Island is a very small community and most businesses are currently closed or are only operating limited services. It is important that these services be focused on helping and protecting residents. We look forward to welcoming you sometime in the future. Please read the March 20, 2020 press release here.