• Know Before You Visit – COVID-19 & Golf Trips To Vancouver Island

    What can you expect when golfing on Vancouver Island

    #GolfVancouverIsland #GolfBC #ExploreBC

    Updated November 19, 2020

    Like you, we are passionate about golfing on Vancouver Island and about our home province of British Columbia. As British Columbians, we are working towards the common goal of keeping every community member and every visitor safe by enacting the most up to date safety protocols – by being responsible, kind, and strong, and by following the advice of our Provincial Health Officer, the curve will flatten again.

    While 2020 may not have been the year for visitors to experience the wonderful golf courses here, we can all dream, plan, and look forward to playing the Vancouver Island Golf Trail again soon.

    If you are considering a visit to Vancouver Island for a golf vacation, here are some important things to know about your visit:

    Provincial Travel Guidelines:

    Effective November 19, 2020 – As directed by the PHO, you should avoid non-essential travel at this time. The recently announced orders are in effect until at least December 7th. Do not travel to other regions inside or outside of the province unless it is essential. If you need to travel for essential reasons, do your research before you travel and make sure your trip is right for you. At this time, people travelling to BC from another province or territory within Canada should only come for essential reasons. If you do travel, you are expected to follow the same travel guidelines as everyone else in BC.

    Once it is prudent to do so, British Columbians who wish to travel within B.C. this winter are advised to plan ahead and be respectful while visiting communities, especially smaller and rural towns. The provincial health officer has laid out travel guidelines for everyone travelling to and within B.C. and has recently announced further guidance for all residents and potential visitors. Before embarking on any trip, please ensure you are familiar with the rules and best practices for travel. These include:

    • Pre-trip planning and research on available resources at arriving destination;
    • Respecting any local travel advisories to isolated and remote communities;
    • No travelling for anyone who is sick, and if symptoms develop while travelling – self isolate immediately and contact 811 for guidance and testing;
    • Practising safe physical distancing of two metres at all times;
    • Spending time in small groups and open spaces;
    • Practising good hygiene, including frequent handwashing and cleaning;
    • Please review resources and information from Destination BC for travellers – Know Before You Go;
    • Adhering to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s “Travel Manners”

    Golf Courses:

    • As we move into the Fall season, most of the 13 golf courses that make up the Vancouver Island Golf Trail are open for public play and are accepting tee time reservations. Winter closures may affect day-to-day playability, so please check with the individual courses for daily status. You can also see the full list of current golf course status (weather-permitting) by visiting our blog post.
    • People from the same household are allowed to ride in the same power cart together. If you are from separate households you will be given two separate power carts. Power carts are given a deep cleaning in between uses so you can rest assured that your cart is safe to use.
    • Take-out / grab and go food and beverage services are available on most golf courses and many are now operating their restaurants in some capacity. Specifics will change in accordance with Health Orders and best practices to keep all guests, staff, and community members safe.
    • Golf courses have initiated a number of protocols to limit touchpoints for their customers including removing rakes from bunkers, placing inserts in golf holes so that balls can easily be removed from the cup without touching the flag, accepting payments by debit and credit rather than by cash, sanitizing common touchpoints after each use, and cleaning and disinfecting on course washrooms every hour.

    Hotels:

    • Hotels will be running at reduced occupancy levels to maximize safety for both guests and staff.
    • Pools, hot tubs, saunas, restaurants and other amenities will only be opened under the guidance of the Provincial Health Authority. Be sure to ask your Golf Vancouver Island vacation specialist what amenities are available at the hotel you are considering.
    • Hotels do not require people to be from the same household to share the same room.
    • In an effort to limit the number of people entering your room, room service deliveries will be left outside your door rather than delivered into your room.
    • Daily housekeeping is no longer being provided at any hotel throughout British Columbia but clean sheets can be delivered to your door upon request.

    Transportation:

    • BC Ferries is one of the primary ways to get to and from Vancouver Island. In addition to making masks mandatory for boarding, BC Ferries has implemented a number of safety protocols to ensure all travellers are safe and to help limit the spread of COVID-19 to ferry-accessed communities. 
    • Foodservice is limited to “Grab and Go” on select sailings between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.
    • Passengers are required to bring non-medical facemasks in order to board sailings longer than 30 min. Wearing a mask in all terminals and onboard sailings is now mandatory.
    • People leaving their vehicles are encouraged to practice social distancing.
    • You can keep apprised of all measures being enacted on BC Ferries by viewing the BC Ferries statement here.

    Restaurants and Pubs:

    • As of October 9th, additional safety measures have been mandated for all restaurants in British Columbia. Restaurants can open for dine-in service if they meet the provincially mandated criteria for distancing and sanitizing. Measures include allowing groups of up to six people with each group seated at least 6 feet apart, Barriers between booths, a reduced maximum occupancy to allow for physical distancing, and the cessation of liquor sales for on-site consumption by 10:00pm. Reservations are strongly recommended as a result of these measures.  

    Bars and Nightclubs:

    • Nightclubs in British Columbia will remain closed until further notice. All indications are that this closure will extend until a COVID-19 vaccine has been developed and been widely used.

    TRAVEL NOTICES & INFORMATION

    Travel Notices

    • An official global travel advisory and pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice are in effect: avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice – canada.ca
    • Agreement between Canada and the United States to keep the border closed to all non-essential travel until at Least December 21, 2020. – Current CBSA Border Regulations
    • BC has implemented a number of travel restrictions. For the most up to date information visit the Province’s website – Travel Affected by COVID-19
    • BC’s provincial government has extended the provincial state of emergency through to November 24, 2020. Provincial State Of Emergency Status
    • Please review resources and information from Destination BC for travellers – Know Before You Go

    Ferries

    If you are travelling to or from Vancouver Island by ferry, please check with the relevant service provider for more information

    • BC Ferries is operating all routes, with some scheduling and capacity changes. More details here.
    • Coho Ferry from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria BC has suspended operations until further notice. More details here.
    • Clipper Fast Ferry from Seattle, WA to Victoria, BC has suspended operations until April 30, 2021. More details here.
    • Washington State Ferries from Anacortes, WA to Sidney, BC has suspended operations until further notice. More details here

    Airlines

    If you are travelling to or from Vancouver Island by air, you are encouraged to check with both the airport and your airline carrier for the latest updates.

    • Air Canada is offering flights to multiple airports on Vancouver Island. More information can be found here.
    • WestJet is offering flights to multiple airports on Vancouver Island. More information can be found here.
    • Harbour Air Seaplanes is offering flights to multiple locations on Vancouver Island. More information can be found here.
    • Pacific Coastal Airlines is offering flights to multiple airports on Vancouver Island. More information can be found here

    Airports

    Major airports on Vancouver Island are fully operational and have implemented safety protocols to assist travellers.

    • Victoria International Airport (YYJ) has issued a statement here.
    • Nanaimo Airport (YCD) has issued a statement here.
    • Comox Airport (YQQ) has issued a statement here.

    HELPFUL LINKS

    This (Bear Mountain Resort – Mountain Course, on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail) is my new favourite golf course – I just love the layout. It’s really one of the prettiest golf courses I’ve played in my life, I’ll come back here on vacation, it’s that good.

    Scott McCarron, PGA TOUR Champion

    I always treat golf courses as how many poor holes there are. This (Bear Mountain Resort – Mountain Course, on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail) is a very good one. There’s not one poor hole on this golf course.

    Colin Montgomerie, PGA TOUR Champion

    Great job on the initial booking and subsequent changes requested. Easy check-in at the golf courses and the hotel made the trip hassle-free. Nice touch with the driving directions and discounts at recommended food and beverage establishments. Will definitely recommend your service to friends and business associates.

    Vancouver Guest, Corporate Golf Outing

    Terrific trip: well presented website, knowledgeable staff, and the golf and accommodation were second to none.

    Couples Golf Trip

    We will make this trip an annual April vacation. We will definitely book with Golf Vancouver Island again in 2017!

    Annual Couples Golf Trip

    Very much enjoyed our trip and staff were great to deal with - we'll be booking more trips through Golf Vancouver Island in the future.

    Buddies Trip Golf Package

    Wonderful trip, well planned and organized. Fantastic golf. Wish we stayed longer.

    Buddies Golf Trip

    I have used Golf Vancouver Island a number of times and have found them very helpful and professional. Everyone in our group had a great time, the courses and accommodation were first class.

    Repeat Customer, Buddies Golf Trip

    Staff did an amazing job! So easy to work with. I am already looking to book another trip next year, making this an annual event.

    Annual Buddies Golf Trip

    Personalized, quick response, good customer service and reasonable price. Overall experience was great.

    Couples Golf Trip