[UPDATED: 17 June, 2021] I think it’s safe to say we’ll all be pleased when the pandemic is behind us. There have been so many updates to public health orders and advisories, and you may be left wondering “Is Whistler Open?”
Some travel restrictions do remain but it certainly appears as though things are headed in the right direction!
Pique Newsmagazine reports: ‘Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry, and others, had previously been careful not to say explicitly that the province’s health orders, dubbed a “circuit breaker,” would not be extended. She said May 17 that “nothing is going to be back to 100%. [This is] not going to be a light switch. It is going to be a dimmer switch.”
(Premier) Horgan, however, was clear. “…a roadmap will be laid out for all British Columbians,” he said. “This is great news.”’
So we thought we would offer as much of an answer as possible to the question “Is Whistler open?” as well as some insight as to what to hopefully expect in the near future.
Is Whistler Open? – Accommodation
Whistler’s hotels on the whole are open, however the Resort has banded together to support Public Health Orders by only accepting reservations from outside the Province for essential reasons or reservations from within British Columbia. Canada-wide recreational travel is anticipated to resume July 1 with talks still underway on the reopening of the Canada/United States border.
Prior to June 15, The BC Centre For Disease Control had advised: “Travel restrictions for non-essential travel in B.C. are in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. Stay local and do not travel outside of your travel region”. Whistler was in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, which was partnered with the Fraser Health Authority to identify one acceptable travel region, for example.
At the time of publishing this post, only HI-Whistler is listed as closed with an anticipated reopening date of June 17. An up-to-date list of local business operations may be found via the Tourism Whistler ‘Doors Open’ directory.
Is Whistler Open? – Dining
Patio season is here and Whistler’s dining establishments have pivoted hard to meet the ever-evolving Public Health Orders. Expect dine-in and takeout to be available at all of your fave Whistler eateries, as well as new room service options designed to enhance your stay at several hotels.
Dine-in options were reinstated in BC May 25th and our restaurants and bars have all of the necessary measures in place to ensure a safe experience for all. At the time of writing this post, indoor and outdoor dining for mixed groups of up to six people is allowed (no longer restricted to household or “bubble”). Night clubs and banquet facilities have started to reopen in British Columbia with liquor service now permitted until midnight and indoor seated organized gatherings up to 50 people allowed with a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
Is Whistler Open? What’s The Vibe?
Things are optimistic. Whistler is a resort town and so welcoming visitors is second nature to us! It’s great to see so many people being respectful of signage and protocol, and it’s encouraging that we are all trying to be part of the solution.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park opened May 31st and the chairlifts are turning once again since being shut down by the Province in March. That in itself has injected huge amounts of optimism and the resort is looking forward to a great summer.
Should I Travel To Whistler?
You’re allowed to enjoy a staycation in Whistler if you’re within British Columbia!
At the time of publishing this post, there is no quarantine requirement for domestic travellers upon arrival in British Columbia; however, Canadians should be avoiding all non-essential travel to BC at this time. Interprovincial travel to British Columbia is anticipated to be permitted in Step 3 of the BC Restart Plan (earliest potential start date: July 1, 2021). The Canada/US border remains closed to leisure and recreational travellers at this time.
For those considering travel from further afield, things get quite a bit more complicated. Air travellers 5 years of age or older are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result to the airline prior to boarding international flights bound for Canada.
A molecular test upon arrival in Canada is required at the cost of the individual, and you are required to reserve a room in a Government of Canada-approved hotel for up to three nights (again, at the cost of the individual while they wait for their test results).
Travellers with negative test results must complete their 14-day quarantine at home under increased surveillance and enforcement. Travellers with positive test results will be transferred to designated quarantine facilities. More information on international travel restrictions may be found on the Government Of Canada website.
A reminder that masks are required for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces in British Columbia. Whistler also encourages masks in the busier, outdoor parts of the Village Stroll.
Is Whistler Open? Yes! Things To Do While You’re Here
One of the first questions that we get asked by guests is “What are the top things to do in Whistler?” To be frank, there’s just so many! But we thought we would compile a big bucket list of an incredible 50 Must-dos and must-sees in Whistler. Just a little something to keep you occupied!