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25 Jun 2020 | 04:28 AM UTC

Canada: Authorities extend state of emergency in British Columbia until July 7 /update 16

Canada News Alert

Canadian authorities extend the state of emergency in British Columbia until July 7 amid COVID-19 pandemic; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/18/2020, 12:00 AM until 6/30/2020, 11:59 PM (America/Toronto). COUNTRY/REGION Canada, British Columbia

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Premier John Horgan announced on Wednesday, June 24, that the state of emergency in British Columbia has been extended by two weeks, until Tuesday, July 7, in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This is the 8th time that authorities have extended the state of emergency in British Columbia.

Hogan further announced that British Columbia would transition into phase three in a four-tier plan to reopen the province. Phase three will see the reopening of the hospitality sector including hotels and resorts, however, social distancing and hygiene measures will remain in place.

The return of full-time school class learning is expected to begin in September 2020, as part of the phase three plan. Additionally, international travelers returning to British Columbia are required to self-isolate for a 14-day period.

Similarly, authorities in Ontario have announced the extension of all emergency orders until Tuesday, June 30, as a precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19. The orders, initially set to expire on June 19, include a state of emergency, the closure of establishments, and a ban on gatherings of more than ten people. A full list of the orders in force can be found here.  

Only Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate family members, as well as temporary foreign workers and some international students, can return to Canada by air. In addition, only Toronto Pearson (YYZ); Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau (YUL); Calgary International Airport (YYC); and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) are operating international flights. Boats and cruise ships with more than 500 people are prohibited from docking at ports until July 1. The US-Canada border remains closed for all nonessential travel until July 21.

As of June 24, health authorities have confirmed 104,087 COVID-19 cases and 8544 associated deaths in Canada, while British Columbia has reported 2849 COVID-19 cases. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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