B.C. declared a public health emergency Tuesday, and the provincial health officer said she isn’t confident patrons can keep a safe distance apart in bars and clubs. Restaurants and clubs are able to stay open in some cases if they can meet the “criteria of social distancing.”
But many municipal facilities are closing for the time being, as are some private operations.
The City of Vancouver ordered all Vancouver bars and restaurants to close on St. Patrick’s Day, while the park board is working toward full closure of children’s day camps at its community centres by the end of the day on Friday, March 20.
Earlier in the week, numerous Lower Mainland municipalities announced closure of civic recreational and cultural facilities to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
In Metro Vancouver, Surrey, Delta, and West Vancouver announced shutdowns of almost all civic-run facilities on Sunday.
Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Abbotsford, White Rock, North Vancouver and Richmond followed suit Monday, as did Maple Ridge and Mission on Wednesday. In Langley, Timms Community Centre and Douglas Recreation Centre will closed as of Tuesday.
In most cities, spring break camps and childcare programs are staying open.
The Fraser Valley Regional Library has closed all locations — this includes libraries in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley City, Langley Township, and Hope.
The YMCA of Greater Vancouver is closing all fitness centres and pools starting on Tuesday. Steve Nash Fitness World and Sports Clubs and Club 16 locations have also closed temporarily.
Cineplex and Landmark Cinemas are immediately closing all theatres in Canada effective Tuesday.
WestJet has suspending international and transborder flights for 30 days starting as of Sunday, March 22.
COVID-19 Need to Know:
— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) March 16, 2020
Food and beverage
Some coffee shops and fast-food outlets have also shifted to take-out, drive-through or delivery business only, including Tim Hortons. Starbucks has moved to a to-go model, pausing seating at its locations.
McDonald’s Canada has closed all in-restaurant seating areas and shifted service to carry-out, drive-through and delivery only.
Major grocery chains and pharmacy businesses remain open, although some have creating special hours for senior or vulnerable citizens. Some Shoppers Drug Mart locations are dedicating the first hour of shopping to seniors and those who need assistance in order to avoid crowds and help with social distancing.
Real Canadian Superstore has introduced dedicated shopping hours, 6-7 a.m. on Tuesday and Fridays, for customers who need assistance or consideration, including seniors and people living with disabilities.
Lululemon has closed all stores in North America and Europe until March 27. Online sales remain available.
Aritzia has also closed all of its boutiques until further notice.
Ikea and Roots are closing temporarily in Canada to help contain the spread of the virus, while Home Depot is going to start closing stores at 6 p.m. as of Saturday.
These closures come health officials urged people to limit the size of gatherings to fewer than 50 people. Cities that have closed facilities have also cancelled all previously booked events in city buildings.
Meanwhile, the B.C. SPCA has restricted access to its shelters and facilities in order to protect staff, volunteers and members of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have information about changes, closures or cancellations at your city’s facilities, please contact us.