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Venues across Vancouver close temporarily in response to COVID-19 pandemic

There are fewer and fewer places open in Vancouver, as officials urge social distancing and staying home
Science World is among the Vancouver venues that have closed temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Science World in Vancouver by Stock for you/

Normally during Spring Break, venues across Vancouver are welcoming groups of families and visitors from around the world. However, this isn't a normal Spring Break, as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced cities and countries worldwide to shut down in order to curtail further spread of the illness.

Here in Vancouver, popular destinations like the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Aquarium, and Science World have all announced temporary closures.

"Art connects people, and during this period of closure, we invite you to keep up-to-date and stay in touch through our online digital channels," urged the Vancouver Art Gallery, which will be closed "until further notice."

Meanwhile, the Aquarium is shuttered indefinitely, too. "The Government of Canada has urged all Canadians to stay home as much as possible. Following this direction, and with the health and safety of our staff, guests and animals top of mind, the Vancouver Aquarium will temporarily close to the general public and pause all other public programming and activities," they explain. However, you can still access the Aquarium's live cams to check in on the facility's many residents.

"This was not an easy decision," adds the Aquarium.

Science World is closed for the duration of Spring Break with plans to re-open on April 6, however that may change. 

"While there have been no incidences of COVID-19 identified at Science World at this time, this decision has been made in an abundance of caution based on the unique interactive, hands-on nature of our facility and our ability to manage social distancing," says Science World. "This will also give us an opportunity to deep clean and disinfect our facility. During this period, we will continue to pay all staff in accordance with their scheduled hours. We will take this opportunity to share as many fun spring break science activities as we can through our online channels."

The City of Vancouver has closed down many of their facilities and venues, like VanDusen Botanical Gardens, Bloedel Conservatory, and Vancouver Civic Theatres. The Vancouver Public Library has closed their locations, but will temporarily stop overdue fees and hold expirations. 

Additionally, places like FlyOver Canada have also closed, along with museums and galleries accross Metro Vancouver, like the Museum of Vancouver and North Vancouver's Polygon Gallery. Both Cineplex and Landmark Theatres have halted operations. 

Recreation facilities across Metro Vancouver are also closed. Many malls have cut hours, with many retailers closing down temporarily for the duration, including Saje, Apple, Lush, Nordstrom, Hudson Bay, Purdys, and Sephora - to name just a few. Some small independent businesses may remain in operation with reduced hours, reduced contact between customers and the environment. Grocery stores and pharmacies remain open, however. 

All levels of government are consistently reminding Vancouverites, British Columbians, and Canadians to practice social distancing and to stay home as much as possible.