Most of CFB Esquimalt has shut down, with a majority of staff and civilian members ordered to work from home.
In a Facebook post, the navy base said that only “core services will continue and members who are not physically required to conduct core service will be directed to work from home.”
This decision comes after a federal mandate was released from the Ministry of National Defence directing all bases to do the same.
“Every single member of our defence team has a role to play to protect and preserve the capacity of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to defend our country, and to support CAF’s readiness to serve where needed,” wrote Judy Thomas, Deputy Minister of National Defence.
“Our actions right now matter enormously. As such, and in full coordination with the CAF, with Health Canada’s Public Service Occupational Health Program (PSOHP), and the Public Health Agency of Canada, National Defence (DND) is shifting to pandemic response footing, effective 13 March.”
In addition to pulling non-essential staff, only necessary staff will be accessing CAF networks from home to avoid overloading the IT systems. Business travel is suspended, as are non-essential events and meetings.
The base will be closed to the public for the next three weeks.