Squamish officials echo PHO and urge people to heed advice, stay close to home

With COVID-19 cases rising within the Sea to Sky Corridor and strengthened restrictions put into place by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) for the coming weeks, Squamish officials are urging everyone to heed the advice to stay close to home and within your own community – unless travel is essential (i.e. for work or medical appointments).

“The latest message from the PHO is really clear - we must continue to be vigilant and that includes staying close to home so the virus doesn’t continue to spread from community to community,” says Acting Mayor Jenna Stoner. “Instead, let's try to spend our time and money supporting local businesses to help them over this latest hurdle.”

The three-week circuit breaker is effective through April 19, 2021 and includes the closure of indoor dining, all adult group fitness, and the closure of Whistler Blackcomb ski resort. The restrictions are aimed at breaking the chain of COVID-19 transmission. This comes amid rising case levels, variants of concern, increased transmission and an increase in more severe cases according to the BC Government news release.

“We are asking everyone to continue to do their part and stay local, explore areas in your community, where you reside,” says Gareth Bradley, Acting Inspector for the Sea to Sky RCMP. “Please do not over burden local area resources and health care systems. The Sea to Sky RCMP will be out this long weekend, please be safe.”

Squamish bylaw enforcement patrols will be out this long weekend focusing on parking and camping hotspots.

“We so look forward to when Squamish is once again bustling with the energy of visitors, but for now we must ask everyone to explore Squamish later,” continues Stoner. “The more effort we make today, the sooner we can all get back to doing the things we love. We look forward to welcoming visitors back once the current health order is lifted.”

While restrictions on dining inside restaurants are in place for the next three weeks, there are still plenty of opportunities to order take-out, eat on a patio, and shop local. The Squamish Chamber of Commerce Buy Local page lists a range of resources for Squamish locals to support their local businesses, including a list of what’s open.

To recap the latest province-wide restrictions, they are included here, in effect through April 19 at 11:59 p.m.:

  • Restaurants, pubs and bars must only provide take-out or delivery service, or outdoor patio service. (Outdoor patio seating for immediate household or core bubble only);
  • Indoor adult group fitness activities of any kind are paused;
  • Indoor religious gatherings and worship services between March 28 and May 13 are suspended;
  • Travel continues to be limited to essential travel, work or medical reasons only. Essential travel within B.C. includes regular travel for work within your region, or travel for things like medical appointments and hospital visits;
  • Working from home is strongly recommended whenever possible, unless it is essential to be in the workplace;
  • Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort is closed;
  • Public health guidance has been amended to support and encourage students down to Grade 4 to wear masks while at school;
  • Gatherings of up to 10 of the same people can occur at a park, beach or in the backyard of a residence with COVID-19 layers of protection and physical distancing. *Patios and outdoor areas at restaurants, pubs and bars are not included as places to gather with 10 people at one table.

In addition to the orders, the PHO strongly recommends getting testing immediately if you feel sick. 

For full details about the new restrictions please visit the Government of British Columbia website at Gov.bc.ca/covid19.

Find links to testing information, vaccination information and more at Squamish.ca/covid-19.

April 1, 2021

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