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Travelling to Ucluelet during COVID-19


Update – November 19, 2020

EXPLORE UCLUELET…LATER.

Like you, we’re passionate about exploring, but now is not the time to travel.

To keep the west coast safe, we are kindly asking visitors to adhere to recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer.

Please stay home. And, for those who have upcoming bookings, contact your accommodation provider to make alternative arrangements.

We thank you from the bottom of our ❤’s for keeping us all safe.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Ucluelet soon.

Please note: The Pacific Rim Visitor Centre will be closed until December 7th.


For the most up to date orders and recommendations from the Provincial Health Office of BC, please follow the link below:


Travel advisory

At this time, all non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province. For example:

What is essential travel?

Individual circumstances may affect whether a particular trip is considered essential or non-essential. Essential travel within B.C. includes:

For example, if you live in Vancouver and work in Surrey you can continue to commute. 

If you need to travel for essential reasons, take the same health and safety precautions you do at home.

Travel for mountain sports

Ski and snowboard at your local mountain. For example, if you live in Vancouver, you should ski at Cypress, Grouse or Mt. Seymour. 

Coming from outside of B.C.

At this time, people travelling to B.C. from another province or territory within Canada should only come for essential reasons. If you do travel, you are expected to follow the same travel guidelines as everyone else in B.C.

Flights to and from B.C.

The order does not restrict flights entering and leaving B.C.


If you still feel compelled to come to the coast, please follow all new Public Health Order to wear masks in all public spaces and shops.

The west coast has worked hard to maintain very low transmission rates keeping our region and visitors safe. However, COVID-19 is still very much threat to our communities and your health. While visiting the rural community of Ucluelet, we respectfully ask that please do your part and respect physical distancing, sanitize your hands, wear a non-medical mask in all indoor public spaces.

We thank you from the bottom of our ❤’s for your courtesy.


Current Information for Travel to Ucluelet


Here’s what we’re doing to protect you when you come to the west coast:

All accommodation, restaurants, shops, and stores have implemented provincially approved guidelines for cleaning and physical distancing to keep staff and patrons safe. Masks are required in all indoor public spaces across British Columbia.

The Ucluelet Community Centre (UCC) and all indoor recreation facilities require everyone 5 years and older to wear a mask.

All activity providers have created additional safety measures as well as implemented provincially approved guidelines for cleaning and physical distancing to keep staff and visitors safe.

Due to limited space and modified group sizes, please call ahead to activity providers to see if there are additional items you are required to bring in advance of your trip.

Here’s what we’re asking you to do to help keep our locals and staff safe:

If you or anyone in your travelling group has been sick in the previous week or have flu-like symptoms, PLEASE RESCHEDULE your trip.

We have a very small hospital that services 8 communities with very limited resources. We have 6 Indigenous communities that are anxious to protect their elders. Any community transmission could seriously jeopardize their way of life, language, and generational connections.

Only ONE person from your group to get groceries (and alcohol) or order them after you arrive.

To prepare for your visit, consider bringing your groceries with you from your local grocer or stop on the way before arriving in Ucluelet.

Order your groceries on-line and have them delivered to your accommodation once you’re in town! Go to www.uclueletcoop.com. Just make sure some one is there to receive them. Don’t want those pesky crows eating your food.

The Ucluelet General Store (formally Murray’s) has lots of staples including locally made vegan and prepared frozen takeout meals.

Blackberry Cove has an extensive amount of organic and food sensitive products.

 Book your activities in advance.

As all companies have adapted to maintain social/physical distancing, smaller groups will be required. Booking in advance will prevent a missed opportunity to get out in the water or soar along the zipline. If you’ve never done an activity before like surfing, book a lesson. We only want positive memories from the west coast https://www.discoverucluelet.com/play-in-ucluelet

Be Coast Smart.

The ocean is so mesmerizing to watch and be in, but our waters aren’t the same as other areas of the pacific. The water is pretty chilly, so rent a wet suit. Dipping your toes is one thing, but your whole body can get cold quickly. If you’ve always wanted to surf, a lesson with a qualified instructor from one of our surf shops is the way to go. A lesson will help you read the water, where to go and not to go.

Bring your own personal protective equipment (ie hand sanitizer and mask).

As noted by both federal and BC provincial health officers, people are strongly encouraged to wear masks in public indoor spaces.

Most stores and activity providers will have sanitizer at the entrance of their respective businesses, but just in case, have a small travel pack on you. The Coop, The Den and drug stores in Ucluelet are selling hand sanitizer. Masks are also available in some stores.

First Nation communities on the West Coast

While travel is welcome to the west coast, the local First Nation communities of Macoa, Esowista, Ty-Histanis, Opitsaht, Ahousaht and Hesquiaht have restricted access to essential services only and are unable to welcome visitors at this time.

Restaurants make a reservation, or order takeout/delivery

Our restaurants have done a wonderful job in preparing for your arrival, but some will have limited seating and we kindly as for your patience. If you’d like to be guaranteed a seat at your favorite restaurant, make a reservation. Better yet, grab it to go! Have a picnic at the beach. By ordering takeout/ delivery you won’t miss out on amazing meals and this will provide you the flexibility of dining in town. They will each have their own rules to follow. https://www.discoverucluelet.com/eat-in-ucluelet

Public spaces: Parks and Beaches in Ucluelet

The District of Ucluelet has maintained their rigorous cleaning measures throughout all public spaces and has provided additional sitting areas throughout town for everyone to enjoy.

Wild Pacific Trail

On the Lighthouse Loop please follow the directional signage.

In areas on the whole trail that are not 6 feet apart, if someone is trying to pass you, please step aside in a side trail or turn your back to them and allow them to pass.

PLEASE stay off the rocks along our coastline. We know how enticing it is to be part of the elements, but the ocean has a funny way of reminding us how small we are. We also need to prevent unnecessary exposure to our first responders.

PLEASE keep your dog on a leash.

To find out more about the history of Wild Pacific Trail go to https://www.wildpacifictrail.com/

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Keep a healthy space of 2 meters between you (or your family group) and others, including on all trails, beaches, parking lots and washrooms.

Respect all onsite direction, signage, and closures. Some of this information will be new and will help ensure physical distancing.

Only select washrooms will be open to the public. For your own safety, please follow safe hygiene practices.

Be self-sufficient by bringing your own clean travel kit, including hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, garbage bags, masks when recommended by health authorities, as well as tablecloths if you plan to use a picnic table.

You are responsible for your own safety. Be cautious when engaging in activities to avoid injury and/or getting lost to help minimize the demands placed on emergency response, search and rescue teams, and on the health care system.

For the most up-to-date information on Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, please visit pc.gc.ca/pacificrim

Aquarium  

The Ucluelet Aquarium is closed from Nov. 30, 2020, to early March 2021

A limited number of guests will be welcomed at a time to maintain physical distancing.

The Aquarium will be a one-way circle around the main pool with interpreter stations along the way.

Guests will be asked to wash and dry their hands upon arrival. 

Touch tanks will be covered for animal care purposes as soap and disinfectants are harmful to the health of fish and invertebrates.

To learn more about what our amazing aquarium does, go to https://uclueletaquarium.org/

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Discover how our businesses and community are working to ensure you have a Stress-Free holiday.

District of Ucluelet

For the current COVID-19 plan for the District of Ucluelet, please go to https://ucluelet.ca/community/covid-19-update

The following guidelines are from WorkSafeBC and other government agencies:

Accommodation

Hotels and resorts are included in Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan and interim guidance is available for the accommodation sector. Operators of hotels, motels, hostels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and other forms of travel accommodation are encouraged to refer to the interim guidance document from the Province of BC and BC Centre for Disease Control and the BC Hotel Association Tourism & Hospitality COVID-19 Health & Safety Best Practice document.

Pacific Coastal Airline

Pacific Coastal Airline has resumed flights and implemented increased safety measures for their passengers while traveling on their planes. Go to https://www.pacificcoastal.com/additional-safety-measures/ from more information  and to book your flight to the west coast.

BC Ferries

BC Ferries has resumed sailings and implemented increased safety measures for their passengers on their boats. Go to https://www.bcferries.com/current_conditions/travel-advisory.html for further sailing details.

Camping

While Ucluelet and the west coast do not have a provincial park within its boundaries, there are some along the way. Go to BC Parks for best practices while camping http://bcparks.ca/covid-19/docs/Camping-During-COVID-19.pdf?v=1590714711986

Ucluelet and the west coast are fortunate to have many private campgrounds in the area. When looking to book as site, please speak with your camping provider regarding their COVID-19 plan. The BC Lodges and Camping association also has answered questions found under their FAQ’s on how to prepare to camp during COVID-19. https://www.travel-british-columbia.com/travel-resources/covid-19-news-and-faqs/

For those staying in Green Point at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, please go to pc.gc.ca/pacificrim for more information

Restaurants, cafés, and pubs: Protocols for returning to operation

These protocols are for employers in restaurants, cafés, and bars, as well as any other employer who sells food and drink on their premises. These employers may also benefit from reviewing other protocols if their workplace includes other work environments such as office space, or retail services. Employers must also ensure they are abiding by any orders, notices, or guidance issued by the provincial health officer, and the appropriate health authority, which are relevant to their workplace. Click here for more information

Retail: Protocols for returning to operation

These protocols are for employers providing retail services in a variety of environments, including shops, malls, and department stores, as well as employers who have a retail component to their business, such as gas stations. Retail employers may also benefit from reviewing other protocols if their workplace includes other work environments such as office space or food and drink services. Employers must also ensure they are abiding by any orders, notices, or guidance issued by the provincial health officer, and the appropriate health authority, which are relevant to their workplace.

Some retail operators have continued to operate through the COVID-19 pandemic. These protocols may be used by these retailers as resources to further strengthen the protocols they already have in place. For retailers that are re-opening following a COVID-19 related closure, these protocols are provided to support the development of their COVID-19 Safety Plan. Retailers who have been in continuous operation as well as those returning to operation may also refer to WorkSafeBC’s Retail and COVID-19 safety page for additional information and resources. Click here for more information

Arts and cultural facilities: Protocols for returning to operation

These protocols provide guidance to museums, art galleries, and libraries. These employers may also benefit from reviewing other protocols if their workplace includes other work environments such as office spaceretail services, or food and drink services. Employers must also ensure they are abiding by any orders, notices, or guidance issued by the provincial health officer, and the appropriate health authority, which are relevant to their workplace.

BC Provincial Parks: Protocols for returning to operation

These protocols are for those responsible for health and safety in B.C. parks. Those employers with concession stands should also refer to guidance provided for food and drink services, and may also benefit from reviewing other protocols if includes other work environments such as office space, or retail services. Employers must also ensure they are abiding by any orders, notices, or guidance issued by the provincial health officer, and the appropriate health authority, which are relevant to their workplace. Click here for more information

Helpful public health links

BC Centre for Disease Control – COVID-19

BC Provincial Support and Information – COVID-19

Public Health Agency of Canada – COVID-19 Outbreak updates

Public Health Agency of Canada  – COVID-19 Awareness resources

Accessing Care on the West Coast

Island Health

Last updated November 8, 2020.

Photo Credits: Landon Sveinson

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