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Visit, don't vacation: Dr. Henry says it's still okay to go to Whistler

Last Updated Feb 5, 2021 at 8:02 pm PDT

FILE - A ski instructor is seen walking along the base of Whistler Mountain in Whistler, B.C. Sunday, March 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

There have been over 500 COVID-19 cases linked to Whistler resort in the past month

Dr. Bonnie Henry says it's okay to go out and ski with your family, but not party afterwards

Going to Whistler for a day trip is okay, says B.C.'s public health officer

WHISTLER (NEWS 1130) — You can’t go to church or a movie, but you can still head up to Whistler for a day trip.

Despite 547 cases of COVID-19 linked to the resort municipality over the past month, no immediate action is being taken to shut down ski resorts.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says efforts are being made to help people with discounted passes who are nervous about violating her “stay local” directives.

“I know they are coming out with a plan. I expect it will be next week. But it is one of the concerns that has been brought to their attention. I know the community is very concerned about that, too,” she said.


Whistler RCMP says over the weekend, officers responded to seven complaints related to COVID-19 and issued five tickets for violating provincial public health orders.

Henry says it’s still okay to go to Whistler, as long as you aren’t spending the night.

“What I’m telling people is it’s okay to go outside to go skiing. It’s the ‘befores and the afters,’ the parties, and the getting together, and the social gathering — those have never been acceptable,” she said.

“That is where we’re seeing transmission happening in several communities,” Henry added.

We will have to wait until next week to find out what exactly is being done to stop the spread of the virus at ski resorts. There have been hints that people with passes that expire at the end of this season might be allowed to roll them over until next year, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says inspections by WorkSafeBC have already been stepped up at businesses where exposures have been recorded — not just in Whistler, but also Fernie and at Big White near Kelowna.