Health officials in British Columbia are urging that people refrain from travelling over the long weekend as the province faces a spike in COVID-19 cases.
“Right now, no one should be travelling for leisure or vacation outside of your local communities or regions,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a statement.
“The risk to all of us is too great, which means any of our usual travel or holiday weekend gatherings need to be put on hold this year.”
The message comes shortly after officials announced three-week “circuit breaker” restrictions to curb the surging cases, which include suspending indoor dining and indoor group fitness classes. And on Wednesday afternoon, BC recorded 1,013 new COVID-19 cases — its largest one-day case count to date.
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Henry said that the increase in cases has been related to travel over the month of March and stressed that people should only travel if it’s for essential reasons.
“We have seen increasing cases related to travel over these past few weeks,” she explained during a press conference. “We know that people have taken advantage of the weather and the March break to go places with their family. What that has meant is that we have seen a rapid rise of cases of people returning to their home communities.”
“I am appealing to everybody — you should not travel unless it’s necessary for work, for medical reasons. We need to hunker down for the next few weeks.”
The province’s three-week restrictions came into effect earlier this week and will be in place until April 19, 2021.