COVID-19

COVID-19 Public Health Orders & Government Announcements

 

(Current as of: April 1st, 2020)

EMERGENCY STATUS 

⛔️ Public Health Emergency declared, effective March 17, 2020.

⛔️ Provincial State of Emergency declared, effective March 18, 2020.

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SOCIAL DISTANCING ORDERS – These are mandatory orders for everyone in BC.

Gatherings larger than 50 people are banned.

🧍↔️🧍 Maintain 2m 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.

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HEALTH CARE

⛔️ Scheduled elective surgeries and procedures are being postponed.

🏥 Long-term care facilities are restricting visitors to essential visits only.

🩺 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.

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RETAIL & SERVICES

🚗 Auto insurance: Renew by email or phone.

⛴️ BC Ferries: Passengers may stay inside their vehicles the entire trip; on board food service is minimal.

⛴️ BC Ferries have advised all commuters to avoid non-essential travel.

🚌💵 BC Transit, TransLink: 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.

🥡 Restaurants are open for pick-up/delivery service only. These Greater Victoria businesses are offering special services.

🍻 Restaurants may now sell liquor products with meals for pick-up/delivery using staff with Serving-It-Right certification.

🍸 Liquor distilleries are now permitted to produce alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

❌ By public health order, the following retail services are closed throughout BC:

—–💇 Personal service establishments, such as salons, spas, massage, tattoo parlours, etc.

—–🎰 Casinos.

—–🍻 Liquor-primary establishments, such as bars and clubs.

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PUBLIC RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

🏊 Community centres, playgrounds, and sports fields may be closed. Check before you go: City of Victoria District of Saanich SD61

🏞️ Parks Canada: Visitor services at all national parks and historic sites are closed.

🏞️ BC Parks: Some day-use facilities may be closed. Check online before you go.

⛺ All campgrounds are closed.

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HOUSING

⛔️ No evictions for non-payment of rent in BC Housing units, moratorium on all evictions as of March 25th 2020.

💵 Up to $500/month available for units, paid directly to landlords, for the next 3 months (may be extended).

⛔️ Landlords cannot enter units without the consent of tenants unless there is a clear threat to individuals or the property.

⛔️ Freeze on rent increases during the state of emergency.

⚠️ More to come.

BC Hydro bill deferral & payment plans available. Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO. 💵

🏦💵 Mortgage payment deferrals available for CMHC-insured loans. Check with your lender about payment deferral options.

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EMPLOYMENT & INCOME ASSISTANCE

🏪 All workplaces must ensure a safe working environment.

ℹ️ Read more: WorkSafeBC Instructions for employers and employees

⛔️ Employers cannot require a doctors notes or testing for people to stay home from work.

💵 New B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a tax-free $1,000 payment to those whose ability to work has been affected by the outbreak.

💵 The Gov’t is increasing&expanding the B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit. In July 2020 eligible families of 4 will receive up to $564 & eligible individuals will receive up to $218 in an enhanced payment.

💵 One-week waiting period for Employment Insurance benefits has been waived. Call 1-833-381-2725.

💵 “Employment Insurance“-like benefits also available to self-employed or people without paid sick leave. (Effective April 2020)

💵 Boost to GST-credit to low-income individuals and families. (Effective May 2020)

🧾💵 Tax return filing due date is deferred to June 1. Payments owed are deferred until after August 31.

ℹ️ Read more: Guidelines for active construction sites

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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.

💵 Boost to Canada Child Benefit payments to low-income families. (Effective May 2020)

ℹ️ Read More: BC Government COVID-19 child care supports

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STUDENTS & SENIORS

🏫💵 Six-month interest-free moratorium on repayment of Canada Student Loans. (Effective April 2020)

👵💵 Reduction in minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs).

🏫Student loan payments will be frozen for six months, starting March 30th, 2020. Federal loan payments are frozen as well.

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BUSINESSES – See also Retail & Services

🏪 All businesses must adjust their operations to meet social distancing orders and should implement enhanced cleaning, or close.

💵 Businesses with a payroll over $500k can defer their employer health tax payments until Sept. 30, 2020. Businesses with a payroll $500k are already exempt.

⚡💵 BC Hydro bill deferral & payment plans available. Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO.

🏢💵 Wage subsidy for small businesses, non-profit organizations, and charities to prevent worker lay-offs.

🏦💵 Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) for small and medium-sized businesses.

🧾💵 Tax payments owed are deferred until after August 31.

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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 outside of Canada, including to the USA.

⛔️ 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.

💵 $5000 emergency loan available to Canadians travelling abroad through Global Affairs Canada. Call 1-613-996-8885 or email sos@international.gc.ca.

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SUMMARY OF FINANCIAL SUPPORTS 💵

BC Hydro bill deferral & payment plans available. Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO.

BC Hydro credit available, averaging $477 per household. Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO.

🚗 ICBC bill deferral available up to 90 days.

💵 One-week waiting period for Employment Insurance benefits has been waived. Call 1-833-381-2725.

💵 Emergency Care Benefit for workers, including the self-employed, who do not qualify for paid sick leave or EI and have to stay home. (Effective April 2020)

💵 Emergency Support Benefit for workers not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment, including self-employed people. (Effective April 2020)

👪 Boost to GST-credit and Canada Child Benefit payments to low-income individuals and families. (Effective May 2020)

🏫 Six-month interest-free moratorium on repayment of Canada Student Loans. (Effective April 2020)

👵 Reduction in minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs).

🏦 Mortgage payment deferrals available for CMHC-insured loans. Many lenders also offer payment deferrals.

🧾 Tax return filing due date is deferred to June 1. Payments owed are deferred until after August 31.

🏢 Wage subsidy for small businesses, non-profit organizations, and charities to prevent worker lay-offs.

🏦 Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) for small and medium-sized businesses.

✈️ $5000 emergency loan available to Canadians travelling abroad through Global Affairs Canada. Call 1-613-996-8885 or email sos@international.gc.ca.

ℹ️ Read More: Canada’s COVID-19 Support for Canadians and Businesses

 

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Do Your Part: Slowing Transmission of COVID-19

It continues to be extremely important that everyone works to prevent the spread of this disease. Even if you do not personally feel like you are at risk of getting sick, we must each do our part to protect other, more vulnerable community members. Slowing transmission helps our health care system keep up with the disease.

👏  Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds

🤧 Sneeze/cough into your elbow

🚫 Avoid touching your face

🧍↔️🧍 Maintain 2m distance from others

😷 STAY HOME if you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19.

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Do I need testing?

Find out by using the online BC COVID-19 Self Assessment tool: covid19.thrive.health

Do I need to stockpile food and supplies?

Our retail supply-chain providers have assured us they have an abundance of supply and are restocking regularly. There is no need to stockpile.

❓ Where do I go if I have questions?

If you are looking for medical information about COVID-19:

  • Call: 8-1-1* ☎️

If you are looking for non-medical information about COVID-19:

  • Call: 1-888-COVID-19* ☎️
  • Text: 604-630-0300 📱
  • Online: BC CDC 🌐

*Translation available in over 100 languages

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Official Information Sources

This is a regularly evolving situation, with changes on a day-by-day and even hour-by-hour basis. Thus, please take note of the following links so that you can stay up to date:

Official Health Information on COVID-19

Be cautious of information you read about the virus online. Stick with reputable sites such as:

Travel Advisories & Border Control

Travel advisories and border control directives are issued by the Government of Canada. Visit Travel Advisories to see the latest advice on travel.

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**Thank you to MLA Bowinn Ma for template.