Acute Care Visitors

Visitors in acute care settings

The acute visitor policy has been updated, including:

  • Essential and social visitors are now referred to generally as visitors.
  • Up to two visitors may visit a patient at a time.
  • Patients and visitors are encouraged to work in partnership with care providers to determine how best to coordinate visits (e.g., it may be best to avoid visits during shift change or patient rounds). Patients can refuse to provide consent for a visit and this will be respected.

Visitors to acute care settings required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status

In recognition of the added layer of protection provided by the COVID-19 vaccines and the vulnerability of acute care patients even when they are fully vaccinated, on October 5, 2021 the Province announced that visitors to acute care settings would be required to provide proof of their full COVID-19 vaccination status to enter facilities starting October 26, 2021.

Vaccination requirement:

Effective immediately, all visitors to acute care facilities are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (BC Vaccine Card or equivalent).
Visitors who do not demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated will not be able to enter a facility, including passing through the facility to access an outdoor space.

Vaccination requirement does not apply to:

  • Visitors with an approved medical exemption.
  • Children under the age of vaccine eligibility (currently ages 12 and above).
  • The following care settings:
    • Visits to the emergency department and intensive care unit*.
    • Visits for compassionate care including critical illness, palliative care, hospice care and end-of-life**.
    • Visits for pediatric care, labour and delivery (e.g., support persons).
    • Visits paramount to the patient’s physical and mental well-being.
    • Visits to support the patient’s decision-making.
  • *Emergency rooms and intensive care units are limited to one support person at a time.
  • **More than two visitors may be allowed for pediatric care, labour and delivery, palliative and end-of-life care.

Other requirements in effect for all visitors, regardless of vaccination status:

All visitors will continue to be screened at the point of entry for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as well as other communicable respiratory illness. Visitors with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or other communicable respiratory illness, as well as those in self-isolation or quarantine in accordance with public health directives, shall not be permitted to visit.


The ministry’s Mask Use in Health-Care Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic policy remains in effect. All visitors are required to wear a medical mask when in patient care areas and shall be instructed when to perform hand hygiene and practice respiratory etiquette.


For immediate assistance onsite, families and visitors can request that staff contact an available administrator. Families and visitors can also contact the Patient Care Quality Office at Call 604-806-8284 or email PCQO@providencehealth.bc.ca during business hours.

This page last updated Nov 15, 2021 3:42pm PST