Portrait of businesswoman with protective gloves and face mask after returning back to work at office

COVID-19 – Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley Restrictions issued by Gov. of BC

by Baldev S. Gill, Chief Executive Officer

Today’s eMemo contains the following update:

  • Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley Restrictions

Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley Restrictions

In response to escalating COVID-19 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions, earlier this afternoon, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Dix issued an order banning all social gatherings, indoor group physical activities, and restricting non-essential travel in and out of both these regions.

Dr. Henry also stated that this order was necessary to ensure that essential services, businesses, and schools can remain open. 

This order is effective as of 10 p.m. tonight, Saturday, November 7, 2020, details of which can be found here.

Given that real estate services are designated a non-health related essential service, some members have asked, how does this impact open houses or private showings?

Our response is consistent with our eMemo from Thursday, November 5, 2020, in which we stated that members refrain from holding open houses, but rather, implement virtual tours/showings as much as possible.

It is unclear from the announcement today if in-person showings are considered “social gatherings”. Members have asked us to get greater clarity from the Provincial Health Office (PHO) with respect to in person showings. We will be communicating with the PHO on Monday, November 9th to ascertain whether in-person showings are considered “social gatherings”.

In the meantime, we ask that members refrain from promoting or otherwise advertising in-person open houses on MLS, social media, and any other mediums and channels.

If you have an in-person open house scheduled for this weekend, we strongly recommend that you not proceed with that, and instead pivot to offering a virtual open house or showing. 

On Friday November 6, the Board disabled the “Open House” feature in Paragon, and accordingly, we ask that you not include open house in the remarks section of the listing.

Furthermore, we urge members to use their professional judgement, err on the side of caution, and consider the risks associated with holding in-person open houses, including the resulting negative connotations, to you, your brokerage, the public and the real estate industry, should there be a potential spread from an in-person open house.

We understand that these are unprecedented times. However, we have an obligation as professionals to continue to adhere to the PHO, Worksafe, and Real Estate Council of BC guidelines and regulations.

If we all do our part, and do it well, we will flatten the curve sooner and get back to business as usual in a timely manner. Should you need further guidance, please do not hesitate to reach out to your managing broker or the Board office.

Have a good weekend and stay safe.

For ongoing FVREB updates on COVID-19, please visit:

Additional COVID-19 resources: