Response to COVID-19

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Charles McDiarmid
By Charles McDiarmid, Managing Director
Press Releases15 March 2020


UPDATED: Tuesday, March 17 8:30pm

Hello dear guests and friends,

Regrettably, given recent developments surrounding COVID-19, the McDiarmid family and the team at the Wickaninnish Inn have come to the difficult decision to close the Inn and our on-site facilities until further notice. Although the provincial government is not enforcing an official closure at this time, we have been taking the pandemic very seriously and are taking this proactive measure as an extra precaution for the safety of guests, our staff and our neighbours in Tofino—a small community with limited resources.

It is with great consideration and sincere apologies that we have to defer any new arrivals starting tomorrow, March 18, 2020. Our team is making an exceptional effort to reach out to anyone whose travel plans may be affected which include guests arriving tomorrow until the end of March.

Be assured: any guests the team may not be able to reach prior to their scheduled arrival for March 18 and 19, 2020 will still be welcomed to check in and stay for the length of their reservation. Our team will continue to use all the precautions set in place (and described below) to ensure everyone’s continued safety.

On-site facility closures include:

  • Full facility closure to walk-in traffic as of end of day today (March 17, 2020)

  • Our Ancient Cedars Spa and Fitness Room have closed as of the end of today (March 17, 2020).

  • Our signature on-site restaurant, The Pointe Restaurant, will cease operations as of end of lunch service tomorrow (March 18, 2020), as will our Driftwood Café and On the Rocks Bar.

Following the closures of our dining venues, meal service for any remaining in-house guests will be provided by Room Service until their departure.

We are incredibly sorry for any inconvenience in your travel plans and appreciate your understanding in this urgent time of attention. Please know we are always here to assist you with alternative travel arrangements, recommendations and any other questions you may have.

We are hopeful that—with everyone’s participation and community-mindfulness—this situation will be resolved sooner than later, and we look forward to welcoming you back and exceeding your expectations in the future.

From our hearts to yours, the team at the Wickaninnish Inn wishes the best of health and wellness to all.

Posted March 15, 2020

Due to the impact of COVID-19, we realize visitors may be rethinking their upcoming travel plans. Wickaninnish Inn is taking the pandemic seriously and closely monitoring the situation minute-by-minute. Currently Vancouver Island is still considered a safe place, however, we are taking extra precautions for the safety of our guests and the community.

These are some of the measures we are taking, and changes you can expect to see:

Guest Interactions

Moving forward, staff will not be shaking hands on arrival, but instead will greet you by placing their hands on their hearts, making eye contact and verbalizing their welcome.


  • Extra staff have been brought on board exclusively to sanitize all common area touchpoints such as staff and public bathrooms, handrails, door handles/push plates and railings, bar surface, fitness room and guest room touchpoints.
  • We are temporarily closing all yoga, treatments and the steam cave at Ancient Cedars Spa.
  • The Pointe Restaurant is seating guests in a way to optimize social distancing.

We are reiterating the importance of hand hygiene and hand care (moisturize!) by:

  • Having alcohol-based hand sanitizer at each guest reception as well as at the Ancient Cedars Spa;
  • Hand washing reminders and illustrated handwashing protocols are posted in all heart of house areas and in all staff housing facilities;
  • Providing gloves for handling money;
  • Providing gloves for our attendants to service and clean rooms, which they will keep on until sheets have been laundered and change between cleanings. The Housekeeping team are using gloves in cleaning each room and have a developed protocol for sanitizing all cleaning equipment to prevent the possibility of any cross contamination


We are on board to ensure everyone’s safety:

  • All staff members returning from travel to international destinations are self isolating at home to ensure no one who could be infected comes to the Inn.
  • Any new staff members coming to work at the Inn from an international destination will also be isolated at their place of residence before coming to work.
  • All staff members who exhibit even minor cold symptoms, such as runny nose, cough or sore throat, are also being asked not to come to work and to self isolate and maintain social distancing practices. Any missed hours or days of work by these staff that are not otherwise being financially reimbursed for the Inn will be covered so they are not incentivised to come to work if they are ill in any way.
  • All staff coming to work are required to thoroughly wash their hands according to established standards immediately upon arrival, full hand washing visual standards, are laminated and posted at all staff areas sinks.
  • All staff handling guest luggage or coming in regular guest contact are instructed to increase their hand washing regularity to a much higher standard than usual.
  • The Pointe Restaurant is using our Viriditec Ozonated water system to clean all table surfaces and arm chairs after each guest and washing their hands after removing plates from each table.

In case of symptoms

To protect yourself and others, we ask that anyone who is feeling unwell refrain from visiting us so that together we can ensure a safe and comfortable experience for everyone. If you are unsure if you should visit, we encourage you to assess your own personal risk including health status, age, and any recent travel history that would put you at greater risk of acquiring or spreading illness

Coronavirus Cold and Flu Chart
World Health Organization Coronavirus Cold and Flu Chart

Employees have been reminded of flu-like symptoms and the importance of staying home until symptoms resolve or they have been tested before returning to work. They will be sent home by managers if they are exhibiting symptoms and have not self-isolated. We will assist them financially on a case-by-case basis if needed.

If a guest is exhibiting signs of the virus they will be asked to remain in their room, if possible, and we have been instructed to call 811 for further assessment and potential transfer to the hospital (with advance notice provided to the hospital by 811). Tofino General Hospital (6km from the Inn) is prepared with COVID-19 test kits and a quarantine facility if needed.

Booking Changes

We have adjusted and relaxed our cancellation standards to ensure no guests not comfortable in travelling are financially burdened by a decision to cancel their arrangements even on a shorter term basis.

  • All International cancellations needing to be cancelled or rescheduled due to COVID-19 will be processed with a full refund.
  • All Canadian cancellations outside of 15 days of the original arrival date will be refunded.
  • All Canadian cancellations within 15 days can be rebooked for a future date at no charge. Full cancellations will be given a 50% future use credit and 50% refund of the booking deposit.

With everyone's participation and community-mindedness, we hope to see this situation resolve itself sooner than later. We wish the best of health and wellness to you and your families! If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at .

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