Photo Courtesy Of White Sails Brewing

Nanaimo is excited to be welcoming guests back to our beautiful beaches, quiet forests, and friendly businesses. However, as many of us know, travelling this year looks a little different. To help keep our communities safe and the case counts low, visitors are asked to explore safely and responsibly using the following recommendations:

If you’re feeling unwell, please stay home.  

Always have a hygiene kit with you at all times. Your kit should include a facemask and hand sanitizer for moments when you don’t have access to soap and water. Always use sanitizer after touching shared surfaces.

Plan ahead. Take this opportunity to spend a little more time doing some pre-trip research to find out what’s open and what’s changed before you arrive. Many businesses have adopted new protocols that you’ll want to familiarize yourself with prior to arrival. In many cases, activity providers will require you to book your trip in advance.

If your final destination takes you to other parts of the island, be aware that some places remain closed at this time, including:

This summer, less is more. This year, travellers are recommended to visit fewer destinations but stay longer in them. So, instead of a large two-week road trip, choose a few communities and explore them to their fullest.

Explore responsibly. Tread lightly and treat all communities with the same respect you would show at home. When exploring the outdoors, follow AdventureSmart tips and Leave No Trace principles.

Be kind, be calm, and be patient. Nanaimo is working hard to re-open our experiences safely. Let’s all be patient and courteous to each other by understanding that some things may not be the same right now.

Know Before You Go

Keeping your sense of adventure alive has never been more important than it is now. Being well-prepared and informed will help in ensuring safe and enjoyable travel this summer.

Here’s what Nanaimo is doing to protect our visitors and community members: 

  • Accommodation providers, restaurants, shops, and stores are implementing provincially approved guidelines for cleaning and physical distancing to keep staff and patrons safe.
  • Activity providers have created additional safety measures as well as implemented provincially approved guidelines for cleaning and physical distancing to keep staff and visitors safe.
  • Due to limited space and modified group sizes, please call ahead to activity providers to see if there are additional items you are required to bring in advance of your trip.


  • Send in only one person from your group to get groceries
  • Please respect the need for restricting the number of people in shops, one-way aisles (where applicable), and social distancing measures.

Book Your Activities in Advance

  • Activity providers have adapted to maintain social/physical distancing, smaller groups will be required. Booking in advance will prevent a missed opportunity to enjoy your favourite activity.

Restaurants & Cafes

  • Restaurants will have limited seating and they will each have their own rules to follow. Many of our downtown businesses have had their patio extended to offer more outdoor seating as well.

Parks & Trails

  • Respect all onsite direction, signage, and closures. Some of this information will be new and will help ensure physical distancing.
  • Keep a healthy space of 2 meters between you (or your family group) and others at all times. In areas of the whole trail that are not 6 feet apart, if someone is trying to pass you, please step aside in a side trail or turn your back to them and allow them to pass.
  • Only select washrooms will be open to the public. For your own safety, please follow safe hygiene practices.
  • Be self-sufficient by bringing your own clean travel kit, including hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, garbage bags, masks when recommended by health authorities, as well as tablecloths if you plan to use a picnic table.
  • You are responsible for your own safety. Take extra care to avoid injury and/or getting lost to help minimize the demands placed on emergency response, search and rescue teams, and on the health care system.

Visitor Centres

Our Northfield visitor centre is open and ready to welcome you in-person from 10am-4:30pm, 7 days a week.

  • Only send in one person from your group
  • There will be a limited number of guests allowed in the Visitor Centre at one time

For a list of businesses that are currently open, please visit our What’s Open page.