BC health officials ask travellers to postpone recreational trips

Nov 19 2020, 3:21 pm

British Columbia has asked locals and tourists from other provinces to postpone their non-essential travel plans for at least the next two weeks to try to bring new COVID-19 infections under control.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry detailed her strong recommendations against travel around the province at her news conference Thursday, where she also forbade gatherings with people outside your household and banned all community events until at least December 7.

“We are asking people in BC to stay local right now. To postpone recreational or social travel — whether that’s to Whistler, to Tofino, or to visit your grandparents,” she said.

While international arrivals to Canada need to self-isolate for 14 days, there is no country-wide quarantine requirement for travellers who cross provincial borders. Henry reminded domestic tourists that all provinces are now advising residents to stay home, and those looking to visit BC should heed that guidance.

“We are asking people coming to BC in the next two to four weeks if they can postpone their trip here, they should,” she said.

“If they can’t, they need to be aware that the expectation is they will follow the orders we have here — and those orders are enforceable.”

Henry’s latest advice comes as BC’s ski season is just beginning, and many resorts were hoping for Canadian visitors while international tourists won’t be hitting the slopes.

“Go to your local ski hill rather than going to one that’s in another part of the province,” she said.

Henry acknowledged the tourism industry is important to the province and encouraged British Columbians to get outside in their home communities.

These restrictions will be in place for at least one COVID-19 incubation period and will be reassessed sometime before December 7.

Premier John Horgan hinted at the new restrictions when he spoke to media Wednesday morning.

“The regional orders that were brought in on November 9 need to take hold,” he told reporters during a press conference. “That means we need to ensure that the clusters we’re seeing as caseloads go up from social gatherings are reduced as much as possible.”

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