COVID-19 Response Plan

Who else is excited to get outdoors and on the river?!

In our 45 years on the river we have shared so many memories with our guests.  When you’re ready, we are here to welcome you for another rafting season.

Our team at Kootenay River Runners has been monitoring the quickly changing situation we have all been in over the last months and weeks and we continue to work hard to provide a great experience, while reducing risk.

The safety of our staff and our guests has always been our #1 priority.  In these times there will be additional precautions and protocols, but the mountains, river and rapids will still be the same.

Given the nature of the activity of rafting in wide-open outdoor spaces public health organizations have reported the risk of transmission to be low.  We are committed to everyone’s safety and well-being with precautionary measures in place that adhere to government and industry guidelines to further reduce the risk of transmission, while still allowing that time outdoors we are all craving for our physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Our COVID-19 Response Plan follows the guidelines set by the Provincial Health Officer, the BC CDC and Work Safe BC.  As always, our guests are an important part of the team and the whole team will need to strictly adhere to these changes so that we can provide a safe trip for everyone.

Here’s an outline of the team plan …

Our Guest’s Responsibilities:

  1. Please stay home if you are sick with cold or flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, sneezing, difficulty breathing),  if you have been in close contact to anyone with symptoms of Covid-19, or if you have travelled outside of Canada within 14 days.
  2. Maintain physical distancing of at least 2m whenever possible.
  3. Wear a non-medical mask when riding the bus or when inside any of our buildings.  (Note: Updated July 1, 2021 in line with new provincial health orders.)
  4. Wash and sanitize your hands regularly.
  5. Agree to contact tracing.
  6. Be patient, respectful and kind.  We have been around for 45 years, but a pandemic is new to us too.  We can all have fun, enjoy the outdoors and stay safe if we work together.


  1. Book a private raft or even a private trip! Have a group?  Want to ensure you have a raft to yourself?  You can have your own “Bubble on a Boat”.  We have discounted rates for rafting with your own family and friends within your social bubble to guarantee your own raft or trip. Limitations apply, such as minimum numbers for rafting safety.  More details to come very soon; please contact us.
  2. Arrive dressed and ready for your trip.  As we operate 3 different rivers, we will email all guests the detailed recommended attire for each trip.
  3. Leave unnecessary items at home or locked in your vehicle.
  4. Eat and drink lots of water before you arrive.  To adhere to guidelines, we cannot provide food/beverages on our trips, as we had in the past.  You may also want to pack a snack to have available in your vehicle for after the trip.
  5. Use the washroom before arriving.  Facilities will still be available if needed, but we will be limiting as much indoor guest contact as possible.

Our Role

  1. Daily monitoring of our staff’s health and encouragement through guaranteed wages to stay home if unwell.
  2. Monitoring of guest’s health.  Every group will be emailed a self-assessment prior to their trip and a checklist will be available on sign in to review their declaration of health again, including:
    • have you experienced a new onset of cold or flu-like symptoms within the last 14 days?
    • have you been in close contact with anyone with Covid-19 in the last 14 days?
    • have you travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days?
    • do you consent to contact tracing?
  3. Enforcing physical distancing of at least 2m whenever possible and use of non-medical masks (buff style face coverings for safety and comfort), when indoors or riding the bus.
  4. Providing a custom Kootenay River Runners buff-style face covering for each guest.  Think of it as a Covid-19 souvenir.  Our raft rates have been increased a modest $5/person to cover this, but we want to make sure every guest has an appropriate face covering and limit additional payments on your arrival. Buffs are only required to be worn on the bus whilst being driven to and from your tour, they are no longer required to be worn at any additional time.
  5. Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols and frequency including all gear, vehicles and surfaces that follows government and industry guidelines.
  6. Limiting trip sizes.  To increase safety, ease of physical distancing and for our guest experience trips will not exceed 48 people.
  7. Rotation of gear such as river booties, life jackets and wetsuits.  Gear will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected then put in rotation to use at earliest 24 hours later.
  8. Payment by credit card or debit encouraged.
  9. Changes to our trips and procedures such as outdoor check-in, and no longer providing food and beverages to adhere to guidelines and limit close contact and contact points.
  10. Environmental changes to our sites with sanitization stations, physical distancing barriers, markers and signage to encourage and remind guests and staff to follow policies and procedures.
  11. Detailed staff training of our COVID-19 Response Plan, including cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing protocols.
  12. Providing staff with appropriate PPE when needed.
  13. Continuous review of our policies and procedures to ensure compliance to government and industry guidelines and to increase safety and experience to our guests and staff.  Please review our policies before your trip as there may be continual changes in standards.

We know that this is a change to our usual operations, but it is all in place to prioritize the safety of our guests and staff.  We need strict adherence from the whole team, which includes our staff and our guests in order to provide a safe and fun trip and help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.  Any guest unable or unwilling to follow these policies and procedures will not be provided service.

Kootenay River Runners continues to prioritize safety and is putting these changes in place in accordance with advice from provincial authorities.  As always, guests raft  at their own risk and each guest is required to read and sign a Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims and Assumption of Risks and Indemnity Agreement prior to their rafting trip.  You can find this document for review here.

Thanks for your support!  We hope to see you on the river soon!  We are excited to share the rivers and spend some time in the fresh air with you!

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns and remember as Dr. Henry says, “Be calm, be kind, be safe.”