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Does COVID-19 Ban Commuting to Work from Outside the Province? – Ask The Expert

Employees coming into a province to go to work each day don’t have to self-isolate.


One of our employees commutes to our office in BC from her home in Alberta. Is she allowed to do this without self-isolating?




Current COVID-19 travel restrictions in BC are similar to the rules in other provinces in that people coming into the province are required to self-isolate for 14 days. However, exceptions apply for what’s called “essential travel,” one form of which is commuting to work into BC from another province. The exception applies regardless of whether the commuter works for an essential or non-essential business. Of course, in the event of a workplace shutdown, no employees of a non-essential employees are supposed to come to work.

All other provinces also make exceptions for essential travel. While there are geographic variances, essential travel commonly includes not just business travel but also:

  • Transportation of commercial goods;
  • Returning to a principal residence, such as a worker returning after being stationed abroad;
  • Receiving medical care;
  • Court appearances and participation in other required legal proceedings;
  • Meeting childcare or parental obligations; and
  • Compassionate purposes like attending funerals or being with a close relative who’s about to die.