Enabling safe patient visitation
We aim to balance the desire to protect patients, health care workers and the public in acute care facilities from COVID-19, while continuing to ensure patients are provided with safe and supportive care.
Thank you for participating in the screening process and understanding the visitor guidelines.
Orders from the Provincial Health Officer or a Medical Health Officer take precedence over the following visitor guidelines.
Visitors to all health care settings
Visitors must wear a mask in all health care settings, like vaccine clinics, hospitals, community clinics and in home health/home support. Learn more on the Province of B.C.’s website.
Visitors to long-term care or assisted living sites
There are no capacity restrictions on visitors at long-term care and seniors' assisted living facilities. You should check with your local facility about their policies before your visit.
All visitors must show proof of vaccination before visiting a long-term care or seniors' assisted-living facility. Proof of vaccination is not required for:
- Children under the age of 12
- People with an approved medical exemption
- People providing an essential visit
All visitors (12+) must also complete a rapid antigen test. Visitors have the options of using a take home test kit, available through the facility and community pharmacies, within 48 hours of their visit or undergo testing at the entrance.
Visitors to standalone seniors’ assisted living residences are not required to undergo rapid antigen testing. However, if a seniors’ assisted living residence is part of a campus of care with long-term care where there is a common entrance and/or hallways, visitors (12+) to seniors’ assisted living may be required to undergo rapid antigen testing.
All visitors are also required to follow additional safety precautions, including screening for symptoms of illness and practicing hand hygiene.
All visitors to long-term care and seniors’ assisted living sites are required to wear a medical mask in hallways, common areas and multiple occupancy rooms (long-term care).
Masks are not required when fully vaccinated visitors are visiting residents in single occupancy rooms or seniors’ assisted living units.
Visit guidance for visiting long-term care or seniors’ assisted living facilities for more information.
Read more on the BCCDC's website, bccdc.ca.
Visitors to acute care facilities
Last updated: November 5, 2021
The updated Ministry of Health guidance for visitors in acute care includes the following requirements:
- Visitors must be fully vaccinated (seven days past their second dose of COVID-19) or considered excluded, as per the list below) to enter an acute care facility;
- Visitors are required to be screened for signs and symptoms of illness, including COVID-19 symptoms, as well as show proof of full vaccination and identification prior to entry, including if only to pass through the facility to access an outdoor space;
- If you have any signs or symptoms of illness, or are in self-isolation or quarantine in accordance with public health directives, you will not be permitted to visit.
- Visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must adhere to all required preventative measures for the duration of the visit, including:
- Cleaning one’s hands;
- Wearing a medical mask (for people age 5 years and older). You will be provided with a medical mask when you visit;
- Using respiratory etiquette;
- Safe physical distancing.
- Visitors must go directly to the patient you are visiting and exit the facility directly after their visit.
- Limits to the number of visitors at a time:
- Up to two visitors may visit a patient at a time in most care areas.
- One support person at a time in emergency rooms and intensive care units.
- Cultural traditions and spiritual needs should be taken into consideration. Indigenous patient navigators can assist with the coordination of visits.
- Pediatric, labour and delivery
- More than two visitors may be allowed for pediatric, labour and delivery.
- Siblings may accompany parents or legal guardians of a newborn/infant/child.
- For pediatric care, labour and delivery visits, the vaccination requirement does not apply. Exceptions for additional support persons or visitors may be permitted in consultation with the care team.
- Palliative care, hospice care and end-of-life care areas
- More than two visitors may be allowed in palliative and end-of-life care areas, in consultation with the care team.
Showing proof of vaccination and photo identification is not required for:
- Children who are ineligible for the vaccine.
- Those with an approved medical exemption.
- Visitors for end-of-life care patients and in other specific care settings such as emergency rooms, intensive care units, pediatric care, and labour and delivery.
- Visits paramount to the patient’s physical care and mental well-being.
- These visits include: assistance with feeding, mobility, and/or personal care; communication assistance for persons with hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual, or memory impairments; and assistance by designated representatives for persons with disabilities, including provision of emotional support.
- Supported decision-making visits.
If you are unable to adhere to required precautions, you will be excluded from visiting.
BCCDC acute care visitor poster
Visiting in the hospital during COVID-19
Download translated versions in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, Tigrigna and Vietnamese
Dropping off essential items for patients/residents
If essential items need to be dropped off for a patient/resident, please arrange this in advance with their care team.
How this is done will depend on the individual facility and the team caring for the patients.
Visits to assist a patient with translation are not considered essential. If you/your loved one requires translation, please advise their care team for guidance.
Translation services are available to assist with patient visits.
Communication assistance visits for patients/clients with hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual or memory impairments are considered essential.
We encourage the use of technology to remain in touch with your loved ones who are staying in a Fraser Health operated facility, especially if an in-person visit is not possible.
Some facilities have technology available to patients for this purpose. Please ask the patient’s care team if this is available at the facility they are staying at.
Questions and concerns
If you feel your situation warrants permission for more than the guidance allows, please discuss your request with your loved one’s care team. The care team will balance your request with the patient’s needs, along with the infection prevention/control requirements of the other patients in the unit.
If you would like to request a review of any decision made related to visitor status, you may speak with an administrator or administrator on call for an immediate review of the decision.
Family and visitors can request a formal review of a decision through the health authority Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO). You can contact them by phone at 1-877-880-8823 or email at email@example.com.