COVID-19 information

Page last updated on April 26, 2021 at 2:45 p.m.

COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines protect against infection from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19. The vaccines cause your body to produce antibodies that will help protect you from getting sick if exposed to the virus. The vaccines are approved by Health Canada.

Read up on current vaccines and the status in the Province on the PHO website.

Province-wide restrictions

Provincial restrictions are in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Some restrictions are made by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) under the Public Health Act and others are made under the Emergency Program Act (EPA). Most orders can be enforced by police and compliance and enforcement officials.

View the most up to date restrictions on the PHO website.

Do your part to keep B.C. safe

Stronger province-wide restrictions

Between March 29 at 11:59 pm and April 19 at 11:59 pm the PHO is strengthening province-wide restrictions:

  • The variance allowing indoor religious gatherings and worship services between March 28 and May 13 is suspended
  • Restaurants, pubs and bars are closed for indoor dining. Outdoor patio seating and take-out or delivery is allowed

Updated PHO guidance for indoor exercise – April 1

In addition to the March 29 update to the Events and Gatherings Order from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), new guidelines for indoor exercise were released on April 1. These new guidelines include that masks must be worn indoors at all times, including while exercising, and that increased space is required between exercise equipment. Participants will see some movement of equipment going on over the coming days and new signs going up at all recreation centres.

Saanich recreation centres continue to adapt programs and services in response to the pandemic and directives issued by the PHO. We are committed to keeping the community updated as the situation evolves.

All indoor group classes paused

As per the order from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry announced March 29, all indoor group fitness classes are paused until April 19, 2021. If you are registered for a program subject to cancellation, you will be contacted by Saanich Recreation.

Individual activities (e.g., weight room visits) and one-one-one activities (e.g., personal training) will continue.

Saanich recreation centres continue to adapt programs and services in response to the pandemic and directives issued by the PHO. We are committed to keeping the community updated as the situation evolves.

PHO order on province-wide restrictions

By order and direction of the PHO, all individuals, places of work and businesses in B.C. must significantly reduce social interactions and travel.

The order is in effect until further notice from the PHO.

Social gatherings and events

March 2021 update

The PHO is amending the gathering and events order. Up to 10 people may now gather outdoors. All restrictions for indoor gatherings remain in place. For example:

  • Up to 10 people may gather at a park or beach
  • Up to 10 people may gather in the backyard of a residence
  • No gatherings of any size are allowed indoors

Do not gather with several groups of new people – stick to the same people. Continue to use COVID-19 layers of protection and maintain physical distancing.

Masks in schools

All middle/secondary students, and K-12 staff will now be required to wear a mask in all indoor areas, except when:

  • sitting or standing at their seat or workstation in a classroom
  • a barrier is in place
  • eating or drinking

For more, visit:

Suporting B.C. businesses

B.C. entered the pandemic as an economic leader in Canada. Our plan builds on B.C.’s core economic strengths and introduces new supports to help businesses reopen, adapt, hire, and grow. Extra supports include a new Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant and incentives to hire more workers.

Visit Stronger BC for information on Provincial programs for businesses.

For the most up-to-date restrictions and info from the Province please visit the B.C.'s response to COVID-19 website.

Mask requirements

Masks are now required for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces. People who cannot wear a mask or who cannot put on or remove a mask on their own are exempt.

  • Employers are expected to enforce the mandatory mask policy with both employees and customers
  • A customer can be refused entry or service if they do not wear a mask
  • View on B.C. Government website


Watch our website at and our social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) for updates.

We will share more information when it is available.

As the situation unfolds, we will continue to monitor credible sources and will work with our provincial and regional partners. It’s important to note that Saanich is not the lead agency on COVID-19; we will take direction from the Province and the Provincial Health Officer.



On this page you will find status updates on our facilities and services, resources for individuals and businesses, and other information related to COVID-19 in Saanich.
Municipal hall and facilities  |  Parks and recreation  |  Yard and garden waste drop-off  |  Property tax  |  News releases and updates

Click the images below to find information on existing and newly created programs to provide a summary of support options most relevant to families and businesses.

Municipal Hall public access

The municipal hall and annex are currently open to the public with counter services in the areas of Planning, Engineering, Building Inspections, Finance, Reception, Legislative Services, Recreation, Human Resources, Occupational Health and Safety and the Mayor’s Office.

Public access is on a first-come first-serve basis via the parking lot entrance of the municipal hall. Visitors are limited to a maximum of 11 people at a time and will be required to use hand sanitizer and wear a visitor badge when entering the facility. We encourage the public to continue to access online services or make appointments if possible. General contacts are available here for appointments [PDF - 149 KB].

Plexi-glas protective barriers and other measures such as advisory and directional signage have been installed in all public areas and at all service counters for the health and safety of staff and the public. Saanich asks that you do not visit a municipal facility if you: 

  • Are displaying any of the following new or worsening symptoms:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Loss of sense of smell or taste
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of appetite
    • Extreme fatigue or tiredness
    • Headache
    • Body aches
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • Have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days
  • Have been identified by Public Health as a close contact of someone with COVID-19
  • Have been told to isolate by Public Health

More details can be found here.

Council meeting participation

Council meetings and Committee of the Whole meetings will continue via webcast only until further notice.

Advisory committees, standing committees, board and commission meetings have restarted although the public is not able to attend in person at this time. 

Public feedback on items can be emailed to

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Parks and Recreation

As per the provincial health orders, no park permit applications that may encourage social activities in parks such as picnics, events or gatherings are currently being accepted or issued. Some existing permits will continue under COVID-19 protocols and safety plans (e.g., amateur sports).

The provincial health orders also restrict certain activities such as no spectators at indoor or outdoor sports and no activity with teams from outside the Capital Regional District (CRD). This means park permit holders cannot host teams, groups and individuals from outside the CRD at any Saanich facility. This is effective immediately until further notice.

You can still enjoy one of Saanich’s 170 parks and more than 100 kilometres of trails by going for a walk with your immediate household members or one other close contact while keeping physical distance. The playgrounds remain open, but we recommend coming back later if it’s busy.

Saanich encourages residents to review the safety protocols for specific activities before registering. The recreation safety protocols were developed based on guidelines and requirements from the Provincial Health Officer, WorkSafe BC, Island Health, BC Recreation and Parks Association, and the Lifesaving Society of BC. Saanich closed its four recreation centres March 17 to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Safety plans are available to the public at and at each facility.

Golf course

The Cedar Hill Golf Course is currently open. Please see the golf course page for further information.

Outdoor facilities

We have reopened some outdoor facilities.These facilities and activities allow residents to enjoy outdoor sports in a careful and safe way.

The recreation facilities in Saanich Parks that have reopened include:

  • 35 tennis courts;
  • 11 pickleball courts;
  • 21 sports courts (e.g., basketball and street hockey); and
  • the Lambrick Skate Park.


Saanich's 56 playgrounds are currently open.

All playgrounds in municipal parks reopened with new signage to indicate health and safety guidelines for play. Saanich encourages those using the playgrounds to:

  • practice safe physical distancing;
  • wash your hands before and after using the play area;
  • come back later if the area seems too busy;
  • limit your time if others are waiting; and
  • stay home if you feel sick.

If one park or playground looks crowded we have lots more. There are more than 170 parks (including natural state and undeveloped park lands) in Saanich for you to discover and explore! Use our find a park tool.

Outdoor tennis and pickleball

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Parks and Public Works garden waste drop off

The District of Saanich yard and garden waste drop off service is currently operational.

We made the decision to reopen with modified hours to accommodate appropriate physical distancing for our staff and for our residents using the service.Saanich is expanding our service hours for the yard and garden waste drop-off site.

Effective April 6, 2021: Spring/Summer garden waste drop off hours are:

  • Monday - 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.

  • Tuesday - Saturday - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sunday / Statutory Holiday – closed

Please be mindful to not block intersections and congest corridors with your vehicle while waiting to access the drop off.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Inquiries for other business can be made through or by calling 250-475-5599.

Greener garbage

Our staff are working hard to ensure curbside collection service levels are maintained.

Check out our tips for guidance on what you can do to help us stay safe and healthy.

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Saanich events

Following the direction from the Provincial Health Officer, Saanich has cancelled any meetings or gatherings of 50 or more. These events will remain cancelled until further direction from the Provincial Health Officer.


The BC Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization report that hand washing is the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

A reminder to our staff and residents:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands;
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • cough and sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve and not your hands;
  • stay home if you are sick, especially if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, to avoid spreading the illness to others; and
  • practice social distancing (e.g., keeping a two metre distance and avoid touching others).

As a preventative measure, have reviewed and adjusted our cleaning protocols. High contact surfaces in all municipal facilities are being cleaned more frequently.

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News releases and updates

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