Close Alerts

CloseClose Alerts

COVID-19 Updates & Resources

Stay well, stay safe and stay informed with the SRD.

COVID-19 Summary of Public Health Orders & Gov’t Announcements

This is a regularly evolving situation, with changes on a day-by-day and even hour-by-hour basis - current as of Mar 27/20.

(Current as of: March 27, 2020)

This is a regularly evolving situation, with changes on a day-by-day and even hour-by-hour basis.

Current public health orders (marked with “!!”) and official government announcements, are summarized below into one list to help navigate the sea of new information out there.

EMERGENCY STATUS

SOCIAL DISTANCING ORDERS !!

  • Violations of Public Health Orders (!!) can carry fines of over $25,000 or jail time.
  • Gatherings are banned.!!
  • Maintain 2m or 6 ft distance from others.!!
  • Stay home as much as possible, do not visit with friends (call them instead).!!
  • It’s okay to go outside for fresh air and exercise, but stay away from others.!!
  • Self-isolate if you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19.!!

HEALTH CARE

  • Scheduled elective surgeries and procedures are being postponed.
  • Visitor restrictions are in place for all Vancouver Coastal Health facilities, including hospitals, long-term care, assisted living sites, community health centres and clinics. For those living in other health authority areas, check online before you go.
  • Choose virtual health care services whenever available, physicians will be compensated.
  • 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.
  • Safe prescription alternatives to the illegal drug supply available to people who use substances.

PUBLIC SERVICES

  •  Auto insurance
    — Renew auto insurance by email or phone.
    — ICBC customers on a monthly payment plan may defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty.
    Remote extensions for driver licensing available. Call 1-800-950-1498.
    — All requests for medical information temporarily postponed.
  • BC Ferries: Passengers may stay inside their vehicles the entire trip; on board food service is minimal; avoid non-essential travel.
  • BC Transit: Rear door, fare-free boarding on all buses. Those with accessibility needs can still load at front.
  • BC Liquor Stores will stay open, though on reduced hours.
  • BC Service Centres will stay open, but the first hour of service is dedicated to seniors and other vulnerable people. You can also call for service: 1-800-663-7867.
  • In-Person Canada Service Centres are now closed. Apply for benefits online.
  • bc211 is now also available to match volunteers with seniors in need of help with groceries, etc. Call 2-1-1 or visit online.

RETAIL SERVICES

PUBLIC RECREATION & OUTDOORS

HOUSING

  • Immediate halt on all evictions, except for extreme case involving safety concerns and court-ordered evictions.
  • Freeze on rental rates. No rent increases are allowed in BC, effective April 1.
  • Landlords may now restrict use of common areas and restrict visitors to rental properties.
  • Landlords may not enter tenants’ homes without their expressed consent, unless there is a clear threat to people or property.
  • New rental supplement to provide up to $500/month towards rent, paid directly to landlords. Check back for application instructions.
  • BC Hydro bill deferral, payment plans, as well as crisis funding is available. Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO.
  • Mortgage payment deferrals available for CMHC-insured loans. Many lenders also offer payment deferrals.
  • Check with your lender about payment deferral options if you do not have a CMHC-insured loan.

EMPLOYMENT & INCOME ASSISTANCE

CHILDREN & FAMILIES

  • In-class instruction is suspended at all K-12 schools.
  • All parents who can, should care for their children at home. This makes it easier for providers to follow enhanced preventative health measures.
  • Enhanced government funding is available for child care providers that stay open and that close.
  • Providers receiving enhanced government funding (above) cannot charge parent fees for any periods of closure or for vacant spaces and must reserve spaces for families. Check with your provider to see if they are in this program. (Effective April 2020)
  • Boost to Canada Child Benefit payments to low-income families. (Effective May 2020)
  • Read More: BC Government COVID-19 child care supports

STUDENTS & SENIORS

BUSINESSES – See also Retail & Services

  • All businesses must adjust their operations to meet social distancing orders and should implement enhanced cleaning, or close.!!
  • BC Hydro bill deferral & payment plans available. Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO.
  • Wage subsidy of up to 75% for small businesses, non-profit organizations, and charities to prevent worker lay-offs. (More details on Monday).
  • Canada Emergency Business Account for small businesses to get loan of up to $40,000, interest-free for one year.
  • Additional government-guaranteed loans also available to SMEs.
  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Federal income tax payments owed are deferred until after August 31.
  • Payment for the following BC business taxes are deferred until after Sept 30: Employer health tax (EHT), provincial sales tax (PST), municipal and regional district tax, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, carbon tax. Scheduled April 1 increases to provincial carbon tax and PST are delayed.
  • 50% cut to the school tax for business and industry property classes, to be passed onto tenants on triple-net leases.
  • Payment for GST/HST and duties/taxes owed on imports deferred until June.

TRAVEL & BORDERS

  • Canadians currently abroad are strongly advised to return to Canada now while they are still able. Call 1-613-996-8885 or email sos@international.gc.ca for assistance.
  • Entry into Canada will be denied to all non-essential travellers who are not Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents and their immediate family. US citizens will no longer be exempt.
  • Avoid all non-essential travel.
  • Anyone exhibiting symptoms will be actively refused boarding onto aircraft, including Canadians.
  • Overseas international flights entering Canada will be restricted to YVR, YYZ, YUL, YYC only.
  • Travellers entering the country must self-isolate for fourteen days.!! Violations carry a maximum fine of $750,000 and 6 months in jail.
  • $5,000 emergency loan available to Canadians travelling abroad through Global Affairs Canada. Call 1-613-996-8885 or email sos@international.gc.ca.

SUMMARY OF FINANCIAL SUPPORTS