Here's what is considered essential travel under BC's new order

Apr 23 2021, 9:56 am

BC enacted a sweeping new order restricting non-essential travel within the province on Friday.

It includes plans for cancelling ferries, travel bookings and camping reservations, as well as random road “audits” and new border signage.

Additional details about the order — which starts today and takes effect immediately — were released later this morning by BC’s Public Safety Minister, Mike Farnworth.

“These measures, most importantly, can save lives, and it’s in the best interests of all British Columbians to follow them,” he said at a press conference.

People who break the rules could be subject to a $575 fine.

Farnworth says there are many reasonable exemptions to the order when it comes to travel. Here is what is considered essential travel in the order, and is exempted from the travel ban.

Boundaries of health authorities

People can travel within their health region, but not out of their health region.

The order is intended to stop people from going from Vancouver to Tofino or Kamloops to Whistler, for example, says Farnworth.

It will not stop people from travelling long distances within their health region, for example, like Abbotsford to Whistler.

What is considered essential travel?

Farnworth says there are many exemptions to the travel restrictions, including travel for work, school and the transportation of goods.

He stressed that the order is primarily intended to stop people from travelling for recreational purposes.

Here are all of the reasons that are considered “essential” for travelling between health districts:

  • Returning to your principal residence, moving or helping someone move
  • Work, both paid and unpaid (volunteer)
  • Commercial transportation of goods
  • Getting healthcare or social services or helping someone get those services
  • Court appearance, complying with a court order or parole check-in
  • Shared custody agreement
  • Childcare services
  • Attending school at a post-secondary institution
  • Responding to a critical incident, like search and rescue operations
  • Providing care to a person because of a psychological, behavioural or health condition, or a physical, cognitive or mental impairment
  • Providing care or assistance to a person who is seriously ill, disabled or has a physical or cognitive impairment
  • Visiting a resident (as an essential visitor) at:
    • A community care facility licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act that provides long term care within the meaning of section 2 of the Residential Care Regulation
    • A private hospital licensed under the Hospital Act
    • A non-profit institution that has been designated as a hospital under the Hospital Act and is operated primarily for the reception and treatment of persons requiring extended care at a higher level than that generally provided in a private hospital licensed under the Hospital Act
  • Attending a funeral

The entire list is available on the BC COVID-19 website, with all of the info on the new order.

More to come…

Darcy MathesonDarcy Matheson

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