We ask you to trust that Callaghan Country’s service closure was not taken lightly, nor was it merely at our own discretion. The responsible action to suspend services was advised by public health authorities and government officials. When public safety is a business commitment, the March 17th announcement was in essence the only action possible.
As with our commitment to public safety, Callaghan Country is committed to finding a fair resolution for customers who were looking forward to their Journeyman Lodge Adventure and were not able to regain funds through Insurance avenues.
For those who have requested for any additional Cancellation Policy amendments (beyond what has been previously announced), please note we are awaiting direction from our governments in hopes that they may be offering supports to small businesses and the tourism industry. Although doors are closed, Callaghan Country is still incurring operational costs to maintain a small business of this nature. We are not able to provide refunds at this time, however we are reevaluating FCCV redemption timeframes and plan to publish amendments on a monthly basis as our understanding of new economic realities evolve.
We appreciate your concerns and are doing our very best to mitigate the financial consequences this global pandemic is causing our circle of relations here at Callaghan Country. There are numerous unknowns - when will life as we know it resume, how will the pandemic affect our personal economy, the tourism industry, and the province?
Please note, our ‘self-isolated’ team is working hard at determining next steps. As we've all been experiencing, the situation is unprecedented and its ramifications have been escalating rapidly. We are asking for your patience as we navigate the current turbulence.
We hope you are all safe and taking precautions to stay that way. Until further notice, Callaghan Country wishes you and yours' safety, calm, and kindness. In solidarity, we will get through this.
Effective 4:30pm, Tuesday, March 17th: Callaghan Country is temporarily suspending all visitor services at both the Alexander Falls Touring Centre and Journeyman Lodge until further notice.
We appreciate your understanding in this decision and assure you it was not made lightly. We've been making determinations on the facts as they've been made available by authorities. Following the announcement of full service suspension by many industry leaders, including Parks Canada, with their recent directive to shut down all services, we feel we feel that full service closure is the most responsible action for Callaghan Country at this time.
See previous announcements here: Monitoring the evolving global impact of COVID-19 >>
As a small business, we have also made the decision to direct all communications to our website with any remaining inquiries to our email. We appreciate your patience during this transitional period as there is already a significant amount of email backlog we are attending to. We all have the power to offer our best to each other right now, even at a distance. Again, thank you for your understanding.
Last updated: March 13, 2020, at 12:10 PM PST
The team here at Callaghan Country has been monitoring the evolving global impact of COVID-19.
We want to assure you that protecting our guests from the risk of infection by communicable illness/disease has always been part of our health & safety protocols. While the current COVID-19 is newly identified, public health authorities have communicated that it behaves much like other human viruses which Callaghan Country has developed expertise in managing in a backcountry lodge setting. Callaghan Country rigorously follows the guidance of all relevant health authorities and follows best demonstrated practices in the prevention and handling of communicable illness/disease in a remote wilderness environment. Ultimately, we trust and follow the direction of PHAC, Canada's highest public health officials, whose knowledge and expertise far outweighs ours on public health matters.
The health risk at this time remains low for Canada and for Canadian travellers. Additionally on a local level, according to Vancouver Coastal Health, the health authority for Whistler and the Sea to Sky Region, the public health risk associated with COVID-19 for British Columbia remains low. Callaghan Country continues to monitor the situation closely.
Recognizing that this situation is evolving rapidly, on March 12, 2020, we announced the adoption of additional enhanced screening measures in response to COVID-19. As a result of these changes, which are effective immediately, Callaghan Country is advising all incoming Journeyman Lodge guests, you will NOT be allowed to access Callaghan Country's Journeyman Lodge if within 14 days prior to the start of your trip:
- you have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (noted to include, but are not limited to, fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and difficulty breathing); or
- you have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in affected COVID-19 areas (See destinations that have travel health notices for COVID-19: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html), as designated by Public Health Agency of Canada; or
- you have been in contact with anyone who has travelled from or through affected COVID-19 areas in the last 14 days; or
- you have been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with novel coronavirus (COVID-19); or
- you have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Please be advised that you will also undergo additional screening upon check-in at our adventure desk. If you are seeking compensation, we suggest you contact your Trip Cancellation and Emergency Medical Insurance provider immediately.
While the risk remains low in BC, expert consensus is that the situation may become worse over the next few months. As a small business, Callaghan Country recognizes that we must act collectively and ensure we are all doing our part in reducing the effects of widespread infection. We strongly encourage everyone to educate themselves on COVID-19 and use preventative measures recommend by the Canadian Public Health Service (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html).
For the good of the community, both on-site and beyond, we agree that an assertive, proactive response is the most responsible thing citizens can do. We do not want decisions about money to limit our guests' concern about their own health or that of others. To assist guests' decisions regarding upcoming reservations at Journeyman Lodge during the evolving worldwide COVID-19 situation, Callaghan Country is temporarily making some changes to our Cancellation Policy for reservations scheduled to arrive between March 13 and April 14, 2020. We would like to reiterate that all cancellations must be received in writing. For guests who have not secured the necessary Trip Cancellation and Emergency Medical Insurance that was strongly recommended throughout the reservation process, but deem it prudent to cancel their reservation, please include a request for a 'Future Callaghan Country Voucher' with your written notice of cancellation. Callaghan Country will issue these guests a one time 'Future Callaghan Country Voucher' for the full value of the payments already applied to their reservation.
Future Callaghan Country Vouchers (FCCV) are non-refundable and non-transferrable. They may be applied to any new or existing booking not yet paid in full on a Journeyman Lodge reservation arriving on or before December 15, 2020 (subject to availability).
Future Callaghan Country Vouchers will automatically be applied to each guest’s personal account (see Confirmation #) after they have cancelled. FCCVs will not be available instantly and may take up to 10 business days to be processed; no need to call to Callaghan Country before this time.
Safety is at the foundation of Callaghan Country's priorities and we are committed to providing our guests and team members a safe environment to play and work. We are committed to keeping our guests informed as the situation evolves. Please review our current practices and protocols to prevent and control the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable illness/disease at our facility:
- Industry grade kitchen and equipment to standards compliant with licensing laws, health and safety and other statutory regulations (Regularly and recently inspected kitchen Vancouver Coastal Health).
- Staff training in causes and prevention of food-borne illnesses, food protection, and management of healthy equipment and facilities for food preparation and serving.
- Daily housekeeping and infection control procedures. Viruses are easily eliminated by routine surface cleaning and sanitization. Callaghan Country uses diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) to disinfect all hard surfaces, paying special attention to frequently touched surfaces such as, but not limited to, desks, railings, doorknobs, windows, light switches, table tops, chairs, and washroom facilities. *Our housekeeping team has amplified their sanitizing processes and we have scheduled additional staff during this period for greater vigilance and coverage of high-touch areas.
- Callaghan Country has well established protocols for the handling of guests exhibiting symptoms of communicable diseases and our team members are well trained to vigilantly monitor and manage these situations.
Community hygiene and cleanliness measures:
- Staff and guests are strongly advised to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Staff and guests are strongly advised to avoid physical contact when greeting (safe greetings include a wave, a nod, or a bow).
- Staff and guests are strongly advised to avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Staff and guests are strongly advised that when coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
***Please note that only guests scheduled to arrive March 13, 2020 and thereafter are subject to the new screening measures implemented. 'Contact tracing', the process of tracking a patient’s movements and the identification of persons who may have come into contact with an infected person, is strictly managed by public health authorities. Any movements throughout the province will be tracked by local and provincial health authorities, including any necessary notifications to affected citizens or the public. To this date, Callaghan Country has not been contacted by any health authorities regarding guests who have already stayed at Callaghan Country's Journeyman Lodge.***
- Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)’s website for the latest outbreak update on COVID-19 Nationally.
- Visit the Health Link BC website for detailed information on COVID-19, including FAQs.
- Visit the BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC) website for the latest on how to prevent the transmission of diseases. Follow BC CDC on Twitter for regular updates: @CDCofBC
- Call the Health Canada 2019 COVID-19 information line: 1-833-784-4397. Interpretation services are available in multiple languages. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Follow Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, on Twitter: @CPHO_Canada
- Learn more about the British Columbia Pandemic Provincial Coordination Plan and Pandemic Preparedness in British Columbia.