British Columbia has officially entered Phase 3 of the Restart Plan, which means travel is now permitted within BC. Prince Rupert is ready to welcome visitors back this summer, but there remain a number of important COVID-19 advisories to be aware of.
We have compiled this resource page to help you access the support programs you need, and keep you up-to-date on tourism closures and advisories.
*Updated July 27th, 2020
local closures & advisories
Below you will find an up-to-date listing of all local closures related to tourism in Prince Rupert.
All municipal recreation facilities, programming and events, including the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre and the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre (swimming pool and fitness centre) have been closed until further notice, with staff directed to conduct annual maintenance duties, potentially limiting the summer closure time this year.
Service to the Prince Rupert airport (YPR) officially resumed on June 22nd, 2020. To see the airline schedule, please visit www.ypr.ca.
The North Pacific Cannery will be closed for the entire 2020 season.
The Cassiar Cannery is currently closed for bookings until further notice.
The Museum of Northern BC is open for reduced hours, Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00am to 4:00pm. Admission will be by booking only on a first-come first serve basis. To book a visit, please call or text 778-645-0687 during Museum hours (beginning June 16th). If you book well ahead, you will be able to visit at the time of your choice. If you book a short with less notice, Museum staff will do their best to accommodate you. Please note all staff and guests will be required to wear masks. If you don’t have one, they are available for purchase for $2.00. These policies also apply to the Kwinitsa Railway Museum.
Prince Rupert Adventure Tours has announced the cancellation of their 2020 season. There are currently no guided grizzly bear or whale watching experiences available in Prince Rupert.
Diana Lake & Prudhomme Lake Provincial Parks have both reopened, with camping reservations permitted starting June 1st.
The Prince & District Chamber of Commerce is providing a continuously updated list of business hours, closures, and service availability in Prince Rupert. The City of Prince Rupert, MLA Jennifer’s Rice’s office, and other key community leaders have also developed resources to help locals in Prince Rupert navigate this difficult time. You will find these resources linked below.
Destination BC is working with the provincial and federal governments, industry partners, and Health Authorities, to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our tourism industry and advocate for a tourism-specific relief package. We are translating local concerns & fears regarding Prince Rupert’s tourism sector directly to Destination BC with our partners at Northern BC Tourism.
Travel & transportation advisories
The Government of Canada is continually assessing travel risks for Canadians. An official global health advisory is currently in place, asking everyone to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
Avoiding non-essential travel outside of Canada, includes to the US and aboard cruise ships, until further notice. Anyone who chooses to travel outside Canada must self-isolate for 14 days on their return, even if they do not present any symptoms.
Canadian travelers are advised to sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or at home.
Canada is denying entry to travellers who are not Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents, with some exceptions such as air crews and diplomats. Canadians who are displaying COVID-19 symptoms will not be able to board domestic flights or trains.
Incoming travellers who are permitted into Canada at this time will be health screened at all borders – land, sea and air. Air operators have been formally mandated to prevent any travellers with symptoms to board a plane at point of origin, meaning anyone who has symptoms will not be able to come to Canada.
aviation, cruise, ferries, and parks
Most commercial airlines have issued responses to COVID-19, emphasizing the approach to safety and flexible options in light of the current situation. See statements from Air Canada and Westjet below. Note that all Air Canada flights from Prince Rupert (YPR) to Vancouver (YVR) were suspended until June 22nd. As of June 23rd, flight service into Prince Rupert has resumed with reduced flights. The Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace remains unaffected at this time.
Cruise ships with overnight accommodations allowed to carry more than 100 persons are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020. As of July 1, 2020, all other passenger vessels must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority requirements for timelines and processes to resume operations.
BC Ferries has announced the suspension of its regular summer schedule. For northern and mid-coast communities, BC Ferries will continue to operate at the current off-peak (winter) service levels. This means the Northern Expedition will travel between Port Hardy – Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert – Skidegate. The summer direct service from Bella Coola to Port Hardy will not be introduced at this time. Instead, service to these communities will continue to be provided by the Nimpkish and Northern Expedition.
As of June 1, many BC Parks and provincial campgrounds across the province have re-opened for the 2020 camping season, with more campgrounds to open in the weeks to come. See below a link to all park status’ in BC.
Northern bc tourism resiliency program
Are you a tourism business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? The Northern BC Tourism Association is committed to supporting the survival of BC’s tourism businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through the creation of the BC Tourism Resiliency Network.
The Northern BC Tourism Resiliency Program provides Northern BC tourism businesses with meaningful, one-on-one support to access and navigate programs available as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
BC's Restart Plan
Under the Restart Plan, the provincial government will work closely with public health officials, businesses and labour organizations to lift restrictions in phases, gradually allowing for more social and economic activity, while closely monitoring health information to minimize the risk to the public.
The Province of BC Restart Plan lays out a series of steps that we will take together to protect people and ensure that our province can come back from COVID-19 stronger than before.
The Restart Plan includes 4 phases of business and activity resumption with enhanced protocols beginning from mid-May.
On June 24th, the provincial government announced the start of Phase 3, which allows non-essential travel within the province.
what is tourism prince rupert doing to respond?
Our mission at Tourism Prince Rupert is to successfully market Prince Rupert externally to strengthen economic viability for our members and the community. We have been working closely with our partners at Northern BC Tourism and Destination BC in order to provide support and develop a comprehensive recovery strategy to help mitigate the longterm effects this pandemic will have on our local and regional tourism sector.
We are doing a number of things to response during the height of the crisis, as well. In addition to launching this website to provide information, resources, and greater transparency, we have also started a new COVID-19 industry email newsletter to provide up-to-date support & resources related to the tourism sector. We will continue to provide updates & links to relevant resources as they are announced by way of this newsletter. We are also advocating both provincially and federally for a tourism-specific relief package, in partnership with Northern BC Tourism and Destination BC. Finally, we have developed a marketing support campaign for the summer of 2020, to provide additional marketing dollars to local small businesses & entice visitors back to our community, with the introduction of Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan.
Tourism Prince Rupert is also a member of the Prince Rupert Small Business Recovery Task Force, in partnership with the Prince Rupert & District Chamber of Commerce and the City of Prince Rupert’s Economic Development Department. Read more about our work at the link below.
covid-19 resources & support programs
The Canadian response to COVID-19 is rapidly changing as new information is brought to light & new programs are announced for Canadian residents who have been financially affected by the social distancing measures put in place all across the country. Numerous provincial and federal support programs have been put in place to help citizens & business owners weather the storm.
support programs for canadian citizens / residents
A number of relief measures and specific support programs for Canadian residents have been announced. These are aimed at helping relieve the financial stress of job or income loss due to COVID-19, as well as to help support everyone’s ability to stay home & observe the recommended social distancing recommendations.
support programs for businesses
The immediate impacts of COVID-19 are being felt by businesses across British Columbia, Canada, and the world. The federal & provincial governments have introduced a number of support programs to help support business continuity during this challenging economic time.