COVID-19 Operating Guide: Know before you go...
To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, BC’s public health officials have strongly recommended that all social and recreational travel be avoided in British Columbia until further notice based on direction from the PHO. This means all non-essential travel into, out of and within British Columbia should be postponed until the travel advisory is lifted. More information about the Province’s travel advisory is available on the Government of British Columbia’s website >>
The safety our team members, guests, and community are our top priority as we responsibly operate with adapted policies and protocols aimed at exposure reduction. We are all in this together. Please review our active COVID-19 Operating Guide, below, and make sure a visit to Callaghan Country is still the right option for you. This guide will be continuously reviewed and updated as new information and guidelines are provided by our government and health officials. We ask that our guests, staff, and community do their part by staying home if they feel sick, and by following all protocols below when at Callaghan Country.
WHEN VISITING CALLAGHAN COUNTRY, we ask that you please:
- Check our conditions page for available daily services
- Maintain Physical distancing by keeping two meters (six feet) away from one another. Respect people's boundaries and ask for consent before you get close.
- Going for a snowshoe or XC ski is not considered a social gathering. You must make sure this activity does not turn into a group of people meeting outside.
- Bring a mask or face covering, and be sure to wear a mask whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained. This includes busy times on the trailheads and any outdoor areas where people may be transitioning (including parking lots). Wearing a mask, including a non-medical mask or face covering (i.e. made with at least two layers of tightly woven fabric, constructed to completely cover the nose and mouth without gaping, and secured to the head by ties or ear loops) can help protect others around you.
- Follow good sanitary practices by washing and sanitizing your hands often, avoid touching your face, and sneeze or cough into your elbow.
Alexander Falls Touring Centre is open every Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon/Tues. Equipment Rentals and Retail will be available from Access Callaghan Ski Shop with the following adaptations (no reservations required):
- Subject to a single ingress and egress, as well as directional paths and limitations with regard to the number of people in each area at one time. There will be no boot-up area or benches inside.
- Employees and customers are required to wear non-medical face covering in all indoor public spaces.
- Physical barriers will be in place at the counter area.
- Hand sanitizer will be provided upon entry.
- Increased sanitization procedures will be in place.
- There will be a Callaghan Country representative managing traffic in and out of the facility.
- Full Alexander Falls Touring Centre Safety Plan (last updated Jan.12.20)
For guests considering reservations into the future...EVERYTHING IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE: We are still living in the Covid-19 pandemic, as such it is evident that each day comes with new announcements, policies, guidelines, or unexpected situations. Callaghan Country places absolute priority on the health and safety of our community. Things can and probably will change; we appreciate your patience as we determine the right thing to do. Adhering to travel recommendations/restrictions is the responsibility of the traveler, not the operator. Please respect the most current public travel guidelines when booking, re-evaluate at the final payment deadlines and on trip departure.
There is undeniably an ‘Acknowledgement of Risk’ for guests wishing to pursue this adventure amidst a Global Pandemic. No matter how many precautions and measures are taken, we cannot guarantee with certainty that COVID-19 will not find its way into the lodge. Please deeply consider your personal level of vulnerability AND that of your co-vulnerability.
Responsibility for co-managing the spread of COVID-19 is shared with all participants including staff, volunteers, AND GUESTS. It is critical that everyone understand their personal roles and responsibilities in reducing the potential spread of the virus. Additionally, all participants must also understand that continued delivery of Callaghan Country’s service is contingent on following all established protocols.
As part of your registration as an incoming guest, we ask that you carefully review our Journeyman Lodge COVID-19 Safety Plan to prepare yourself for active participation in the practices and protocols in place. If you have booked an Alpine Touring package or reserved the mechanized guest transfer add-on service, please also review our Mechanized Transfer Service Safety Plan.
Callaghan Country is pleased to announce that we are now accepting Journeyman Lodge reservations for the upcoming 202021 Winter season. Please be aware that Callaghan Country’s Operating standards will be modified to comply with active COVID-19 guidelines and regulations as set out by Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH) and our industry partners. These initiatives are consistently evolving and will likely be adapted based on health recommendations at the time of your booking.
It is important to understand that COVID1-19 risk mitigation is personal. There is undeniably an 'Assumption of Risk' for guests wishing to pursue this adventure amidst a Global Pandemic. Review our legal Waiver to understand the guest agreement required before registering as a guest and paying for an overnight adventure at Journeyman Lodge. Please deeply consider your personal level of vulnerability AND that of your co-vulnerability, or circle of influence.
The safety our team members, guests, and community are our top priority as we responsibly reopen with adapted policies and protocols aimed at exposure reduction. We are all in this together. Please review our active COVID-19 Operating Guide, below, and make sure this trip is still the right option for you. This guide will be continuously reviewed and updated as new information and guidelines are provided by our government and health officials.
COVID-19 Operating Guide: Know before you go...
- Journeyman Lodge is currently accepting Reservations from Canadian residents at a reduced occupancy limit of 50%. We are also strongly recommending full lodge capacity reservations for pre-established ‘bubble groups’ further limiting intergroup exposure. Parties with children under 13 yrs will be limited to full lodge capacity reservations.
- At this time, we will require that any guests travelling by airline in order to access this experience, provide our office with a plan to self-isolate for two weeks prior arriving at our facility. We are encouraging local travel and consulting travel guidelines issued by BC Provincial Health Office.
- Our Booking & Cancellation Policies have been adapted for more flexibility and confidence in your adventure investment with us.
- Proof of health required. Mandatory cancellation if, in the 14 days leading up to your Journeyman Lodge trip; you have been in contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19, or you have signs/symptoms. All guests must verify they have successfully completed the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool prior to arrival and sign a pre-trip declaration before being allowed to travel to the lodge.
- All guests are required to bring a mask and hand sanitizer to have on hand at all times of their adventure.
- Physical distancing is paramount.
- Signage will be posted warning guests that they cannot enter the site if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
- Guests may be scheduled to present themselves at our staging area at particular times.
- An in-depth briefing on the lodge-specific COVID management plan must be conducted at the beginning of the trip.
- Guests will be required to bring and wear a mask from the time they approach the check-in building and are to keep 2m away from staff and other guests.
- Only guests from the same household or pod will be allowed to share a lodge suite, room, or nook.
- All Callaghan Country team members and guests must complete a daily symptom check and review the daily safety brief.
- Guests will be required wear a mask in any of the shared or common areas inside lodge.
- Common areas will be clearly marked with occupancy limits and visible cues to help guests maintain physical distance.
- On return from outdoor pursuits, guests will be encouraged to stay in their accommodations rather than traditionally congregate in common areas.
- All gear and personal items is to be kept in designated locations to reduce risk of incidental contact by staff and other guests.
- Guests will need to bring their own books and games; the lodge will not be lending out shared items such as these.
- Meal services may be scheduled and will follow strict social distancing with limited capacity at each pre-assigned table setting. All meals will be either pre-packaged to-go, or individually plated and served by staff wearing masks.
- The sauna will not be in operation this winter.
- Community hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection protocols will be posted throughout all facilities.
- Staff will remain vigilant in their routine cleaning and disinfection practices and protocols to prevent and control the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable illness/disease at our facility.
- Accommodations will be fully cleaned and sanitized after departing guests have checked out/before arriving guests check in.
- Cleaning supplies will be provided in accommodations so that guests can keep their private area clean and sanitized.
- Guests will be supplied with a linen or plastic bag to place their dirty linens in, and a plastic bag for their other waste.
- Guests are requested to tie laundry and waste bags shut and leave them outside their door for collection at the end of their stay.
- Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfection on high-touch surfaces such as, but not limited to, desks, railings, doorknobs, windows, light switches, table tops, chairs, and washroom facilities.
- Stay home if you are sick or have been exposed; routine daily health declaration.
- Physical distancing by keeping two meters (six feet) away from one another is paramount. Respect people’s boundaries and ask for consent before you get close.
- Bring a mask or face covering, and be sure to wear a mask whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained. This includes busy times on the trailheads and any outdoor areas where people may congregate. Wearing a mask, including a non-medical mask or face covering (i.e. made with at least two layers of tightly woven fabric, constructed to completely cover the nose and mouth without gaping, and secured to the head by ties or ear loops) can help protect others around you.
- 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.
- Avoid physical contact when greeting (safe greetings include a wave, a nod, or a bow).
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
- Take care of our collective mental well-being by checking in on each other and practicing self-care and compassion. We are in this together. “Spread fun - not COVID-19.” - Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer
- Care should be taken to avoid following too closely behind one another when snowshoeing and skiing. Observe increased physical distancing guidelines to avoid the chance of acquiring droplets that may have become entrained in the wake or slipstream behind a fellow hiker
- Because wind can carry droplets, you can reduce the chances of viral spread during windy conditions by increasing your physical distancing or by donning masks.
- Passing Others on Trails Narrow trails present contact and distancing challenges for people trying to pass one another. Where possible, communicate with the approaching person or group and decide on who will move safely off the trail until the others have gone by. If it is unsafe to keep a two-meter spread, move as far as is safely possible and ensure the passing party moves by quickly and with no physical contact.
- Proceed with caution. Keep in mind that as our healthcare system becomes more overwhelmed, it’s important to reduce potential accidents that would add to the stress on first responders and medical professionals. As much as possible, stick to activities and areas that are within your comfort zone and take it easy.
- Immediate self-isolation required. We will make arrangements for a safe evacuation.
We are grateful for our customers and very much wish to fulfill the services reserved. Callaghan Country is pleased to announce the following amended opportunities for ‘FCCV’ holders to receive best value for your adventure investment:
- Your FCCV 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)
- As of May 15th: Phase 1 extension on our 'FCCV' booking calendar timeframes with the option to apply your credit towards the same date allocation in 2021 as the one initially booked for 2020 with no seasonal increase to package rates (date allocations are based on weekend relation to calendar month ie. April 3-5, 2020 would result in April 2-4, 2021)*
- As of June 1, 2020: Phase 2 extension on our 'FCCV' booking calendar timeframes with the option to apply your credit towards any new or existing booking not yet paid in full on a Journeyman Lodge reservation arriving between March 19, 2021 and April 13, 2021 (winter 2021 rates will apply)*
- On request, 70% of your FCCV may be converted into a traditional Gift Certificate for full flexibility to utilize or gift as you please (please advise if name change is required).
Please feel welcome to contact us via email or phone to apply your FCCV or discuss any questions. Our office attendance is still intermittent at this time so please note that a response may be delayed due to extremely limited staff availability. Rest assured, voice messages and correspondence will be processed in the order in which they were received. And of course, we are committed to keeping you informed as we reach each new phase of this global pandemic – stay tuned.
Last Updated 11:30am, Wednesday, March 25th:
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.