Know Before You Go
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information and Resources for Travellers
February 25, 2021 Update:
To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, BC’s public health officials have strongly recommended that all social and recreational travel be avoided in British Columbia until further notice. This means all non-essential travel into, out of and within British Columbia should be postponed until the travel advisory is lifted. More information about the Province’s travel advisory is available on the Government of British Columbia’s website.
Whistler's Doors Open Directory
Ski Well, Be Well
Vancouver Coastal Health, the public health authority for Whistler, continues to strongly advise Whistler residents and potential visitors to follow Public Health guidance to prevent community transmission of COVID-19, including:
- Keep to your household bubble and avoid social gatherings.
- Avoid all non-essential travel.
- Stay home if you have any symptoms, however mild, and get tested if your symptoms are consistent with COVID-19.
- Practise physical distancing and wear a mask, if possible, if you cannot.
- Wash your hands often.
Guidelines for a Safe and Responsible Visit
At this time, BC’s provincial health authorities are encouraging everyone to stay small, stay local and to avoid all non-essential travel. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has stated that day trips to Whistler for skiing are okay, as long as COVID-19 guidelines and safety protocols are strictly adhered to.
- Only visit with members of your immediate household. Do not carpool or plan trips with anyone outside of your household bubble.
- Do not plan social gatherings with anyone outside your immediate household. This includes meeting up with friends on the mountain, at après and at restaurants.
- Ensure you have your Whistler Blackcomb reservation and/or lift tickets arranged BEFORE travelling to Whistler. Reservations are required to access Whistler Blackcomb this winter season.
- Consider visiting midweek and during non-holiday periods to help lessen the impact on highways, lift lines and local businesses.
- Follow all COVID-19 safety protocols in the resort, including wearing a mask and maintaining physical distancing in lift lines and when on the Village Stroll.
- Be kind and respectful to Whistler’s frontline employees who are working hard to provide a positive experience for all during these challenging circumstances.
- Plan ahead by reviewing Whistler's Doors Open Directory to understand how businesses have modified their operations in response to COVID-19.
- Do not come to Whistler if you are feeling unwell or have been instructed by public health to self-isolate.
- Let's work together to Be the Reason We Keep the Season.
- For more best practices for low risk recreation this winter season, visit skiwellbewell.ca.
What You Need To Know: Whistler
- Whistler Blackcomb is currently open for winter operations with enhanced safety protocols in place. Guests are required to wear face coverings to access the mountains and a new reservation system has been implemented to manage capacity limits. Passholders have priority access to reservations but lift tickets can be purchased online if capacity is available (please note: lift tickets are available online only and will not be available for purchase at ticket windows). See additional details about accessing Whistler Blackcomb this winter.
- Most businesses in Whistler, including restaurants, accommodations, activity operators and retail stores, continue to have modified operations in response to COVID-19. Please review Whistler's Doors Open Directory for details.
- The Whistler Visitor Centre is currently closed due to the non-essential travel advisory in British Columbia. Guests can call 1.800.944.7853 or use the Ask Whistler mobile chat service to speak with a Whistler.com agent who can answer questions and provide resort information.
- For information about municipal facilities and programs in Whistler, such as Meadow Park Sports Centre and the Whistler Public Library, visit the Resort Municipality of Whistler's website at whistler.ca/covid19.
- Anyone with health questions or symptoms related to COVID-19 should use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool or call 8-1-1 to speak to a health care professional. Anyone in Whistler requiring non-emergent care can contact the Whistler Virtual Walk-In Clinic or call the Whistler Health Care Centre at 604.932.4911.
For a complete overview of Whistler’s response to COVID-19, please visit whistler.ca/covid19.
What You Need To Know: British Columbia
View the current province-wide COVID-19 restrictions, including guidance on social interactions and recreational travel.
- There is no quarantine requirement for domestic travellers upon arrival in British Columbia; however, non-essential travel into BC is strongly discouraged at this time. The Canadian border remains closed to international leisure and recreational travellers. See What You Need to Know: Canada for further information.
- Masks are required for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces in British Columbia. This includes retail stores, restaurants and common areas in hotels. Learn more here.
- Please consult the BC Parks website for information regarding provincial parks in the Whistler area, including COVID-19 updates and operational statuses. Some provincial parks and recreation sites that attract large crowds, including Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, remain closed. Visitors are encouraged to do their research and plan ahead.
- Night clubs and stand alone banquet facilities are currently closed in British Columbia. Restaurants, bars and pubs remain open, but must stop serving alcohol at 10 PM.
- Gatherings of more than 50 people are not currently permitted in British Columbia.
- Visit the Destination BC website for additional information about travelling within British Columbia.
For a complete overview of BC’s response to COVID-19, visit the BC government’s COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information page.
BC’s Restart Plan
Note: The phased approach to BC's Restart Plan is on pause for the duration of the province-wide restrictions.
On May 6, the provincial government released BC’s Restart Plan, which outlines a phased approach for gradually reopening the BC economy. We are currently in Phase 3 of the plan.
Phase 2 began on May 19 during which time the province saw activities resume in areas such as retail, personal service establishments, restaurants, cafes and pubs, museums and art galleries, as well as parks, beaches and outdoor recreation.
The province transitioned to Phase 3 on June 24, where provincial health authorities approved the reopening of hotels and resorts, and the return of regional tourism.
Phase 4 will not begin until the threat of COVID-19 has been significantly diminished through widespread vaccination, broad successful treatments, evidence of community immunity, or the equivalent.
For more information about BC’s Restart Plan, visit www.gov.bc.ca/restartbc.
What You Need To Know: Canada
- The Canadian border remains closed for leisure and recreational travel. See the Canadian Border Services Agency website for details.
- Essential international travel over the Canadian border is permitted, however, anyone who arrives from outside of Canada must quarantine for 14 days. Either before or upon arrival, travellers must provide a quarantine plan for federal officials to review. Not respecting the mandatory requirements is a serious offence with consequences and penalties.
- Effective February 15, 2021, anyone arriving in Canada via a land border crossing with the United States will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. Travellers must have received the negative result within 72 hours.
- Important information for air travellers (these requirements also apply to Canadian nationals looking to return home from abroad):
◦ Air travellers 5 years of age or older are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result to the airline prior to boarding international flights bound for Canada;
◦ Air travellers are required to take a COVID-19 molecular test upon arrival in Canada at their own cost, and;
◦ Air travellers are required to reserve a room in a Government of Canada-approved hotel for up to three nights at their own cost while they wait for their test results.
◦ Travellers with negative test results must complete their 14-day quarantine at home under increased surveillance and enforcement.
◦ Travellers with positive test results will be transferred to designated quarantine facilities.
- Only four Canadian airports are currently accepting international flights, including Vancouver International Airport, Toronto Pearson International, Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and Calgary International Airport.
- A global travel advisory is in effect and Canadians have been instructed to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada.
- Visit the Government of Canada’s website for additional information about travel restrictions, exemptions and advice.
For a full overview of Canada’s response to COVID-19, visit Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Canada’s Response.
COVID-19 Is Not on Vacation
Check Before You Go
- Visit whistler.com/covid for everything you need to know about visiting Whistler.
- Consult Whistler's Doors Open Directory to see what businesses are open and to learn how Whistler businesses have modified their operations in response to COVID-19.
- Do your research and plan ahead – The Whistler Insider blog is a great resource packed with useful know before you go content.
Fewer Faces in Bigger Spaces
- Spread out to areas that are less populated. Visit the Whistler Visitor Centre, use the Ask Whistler mobile chat service or connect with a Village Host for recommendations.
- Whistler has lots to offer outside of the Village Stroll. Try exploring Whistler Creekside, Function Junction and the variety of cultural experiences along the Cultural Connector.
- Try visiting midweek when the resort is quieter and there are more deals and value-add offers available.
If Sick, Stay Home
- If you have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have been in contact with a known case, we ask that you please postpone your visit.
- If you begin to feel unwell while visiting Whistler, self-isolate in your accommodation immediately. Call 8-1-1 to speak to a health care professional, or call the Whistler Health Care Centre at 604-932-4911.
- Whistler is a small community with 12,000 residents and limited health care services. Thank you for doing your part to help keep our community safe!
Wash Your Hands
- Good hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands regularly and look for white poles with signage around the Village providing direction to public washrooms.
- Hand sanitizer is available in many locations throughout the Village. Look for blue signs indicating where hand sanitizer is available.
Keep a Safe Physical Distance
- Remember, 2 metre physical distancing is important in Whistler too.
- Bring a mask or face covering. Masks are required for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces in British Columbia. This includes retail stores, restaurants and common areas in hotels. Face coverings are required in order to access Whistler Blackcomb and Whistler also strongly encourages the wearing of masks when walking along the Village Stroll.
- Watch for markings on the ground to help guide where to stand in line for stores and restaurants. Keep an eye out for one-way aisles, traffic flow markers, and designated entry and exit points in buildings.
- Be prepared for the experience in Whistler to be somewhat different. We ask all visitors to be kind, patient and understanding, and to respect the enhanced safety protocols that have been put in place across the resort to ensure the safety of guests, staff and residents.
- Expect maximum capacity limits in businesses and keep in mind restaurants can only accommodate a maximum of 6 persons at each table.
- While many restaurants, pubs and cafes are open, capacity will be limited so visitors should make reservations, or consider dining during non-peak times.
- Grabbing take-out is another great option, but please be sure to dispose of waste responsibly. Remember, Whistler is bear country – if a bin is full, please find an alternate location to dispose of your waste. Never leave garbage or recycling on the ground.
Respect Travel Advisories
- Please note: There is currently a province-wide non-essential travel advisory in place across British Columbia. During this time, all social and recreational travel should be avoided.
- There is no quarantine requirement for domestic travellers arriving in BC. Visit www.gov.bc.ca/restartbc for additional information about travelling within BC.
- The Canadian border remains closed for leisure and recreational travel. Visit canada.ca for additional information about travel restrictions, exemptions and advice.
- Visit BCparks.ca for information about provincial park closures and advisories.
In Whistler, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is the official health authority. Any visitors with questions about COVID-19 or public health in Whistler are encouraged to consult the Vancouver Coastal Health website.
We will keep this page updated as changes occur. Last update: March 1, 2021.