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Self-Isolating & Travel

Please note that as things change rapidly, Q&As and guidelines will be updated. Review this website often to ensure you have the most up to date information or consult your leader if you have concerns or identify discrepancies. 

When should I self-isolate?

At this time, British Columbians are being encouraged to avoid non-essential travel. If you are returning from a trip from outside of Canada it is mandatory, under Canada's Quarantine Act, to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. For more, click here

British Columbians should monitor their health while they are travelling and after they return from domestic travel. If you have any symptoms at all of a cold or influenza, even if they're mild, stay home and stay away from others.

If you have COVID-19 like symptoms, you are to self-isolate for 10 days.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, Public Health will interview you and determine your period of self-isolation.

If someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, you are to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms. 

If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 at work or in the community and you are asymptomatic (have no symptoms), you can continue coming to work, but you must wear a mask at all times throughout the facility and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. If you develop symptoms during the 14 days, you are to self-isolate for 10 days.

Information for travellers

Anyone returning home to B.C. from outside the country will now be required to have a self-isolation plan that is approved by health officials. If not, they will be directed to a quarantine site. 

British Columbians are encouraged to stay in their own communities and avoid non-essential travel at this time. As the province moves into phase 2 and phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan, more guidance on travel within the province will be provided. This includes trips to smaller communities, cabins and campgrounds.

Some people may need to travel for work, to transport goods and services, or for other legitimate reasons such as helping a family member in need. The transportation network including highways, ferries and border crossings remain open to allow people to get where they need to go. British Columbians should monitor their health while they are travelling and after they return. If you have any symptoms at all of a cold or influenza, even if they're mild, stay away from others. If you have been to areas, particularly where we know there has been transmission of COVID-19, then call your health care provider, call 8-1-1, call public health. Always tell health care providers about recent travel if you become ill after returning to Canada.

Visit the BC CDC's page for more information and alerts about travel outbreaks

Do staff returning from travel need to self-isolate or can they return to work? 

If you are returning from a trip from outside of Canada (including the U.S.) it is mandatory under Canada's Quarantine Act to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. For more, click here

Non-essential staff returning from travel from within Canada will be allowed to work from home.

Essential staff returning from domestic travel may return to work but must take the following precautions: Self-monitor for any signs of illness;

  • Wear a surgical mask at all times and in all areas of your workplace if you can't maintain a physical distance of two meters;
  • Follow infection prevention and control protocols including diligent hand hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment when delivering patient care;
  • Maintain a physical distance of 2 meters from other health care workers, particularly in lunch rooms and shared spaces; and
  • Maintain physical distance with others when travelling to and from work and between shifts.
How do we determine which staff are essential? 

As communicated in previous bulletins, essential workers are people who provide services that are considered critical to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning; and who have been determined by their leadership, on an individual basis, to be critical to delivering these essential services.


The designation of an essential employee is specific to this crisis and the unique circumstances at each site. These assessments will be done individually and revisited regularly to ensure the designation is still applicable.

This page last updated Jun 12, 2020 10:58am PDT