B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)

B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)

B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

Checks on highways, ferries between Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior

The B.C. government has moved ahead with new public health orders to contain the spread of COVID-19 between regions, with enforcement at major highway and ferry crossings aimed at preventing non-essential travel between the Lower Mainland and other parts of the province.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said Friday morning the orders take effect immediately, and are in effect until May 25. They are based on B.C.’s five regional health authorities, with the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions considered as one, and Northern Health and Interior Health regions also treated as a single region.

Farnworth said fines of $575 can be imposed under the Emergency Program Act and he is working with police services to provide periodic road checks at the borders between regions. Ferry terminals and highway routes through Hope to the Interior take most traffic between the three regions. and fines would be assessed at the discretion of police. he said.

The province provided a list of exemptions to the non-essential travel order, including employment or volunteer work, returning to a principal residence, moving or assisting someone moving, spending parenting time with a minor child, attending school or a funeral, or providing care to someone with a physical or mental health condition.

“If we act now and do the right thing, we can still have a summer like those we are all used to,” Farnworth said April 23.

Farnworth and Premier John Horgan have said that enforcement of non-essential travel between regions was a step taken reluctantly, first revealed by Horgan on Monday. Horgan said police road checks would be used to “audit” compliance with the new rules.

“He would rather not have to take this step, but the virus and the variants are spreading through this province, and travel is one of the ways in which they are transmitted,” Farnworth told reporters April 22. “And one of the most effective ways to deal with that is to bring in travel restrictions, and the provincial health officer has indicated that between health authorities is the most effective way to do that.”

RELATED: B.C. COVID-19 infection rate high, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

RELATED: Nine Lower Mainland hospitals postpone non-urgent surgeries


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirus

Just Posted

New changes are being proposed to four streets in James Bay to allow better access for cyclists. Residents have until June 11 to provide feedback. (Black Press Media file photo)
New revisions to James Bay bike lanes open for feedback

Routes on Government and Montreal streets planned for 2022

An elderly man having a medical emergency in Mount Douglas Park on May 13 was rescued by firefighters and paramedics with the help of ATVs. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Rescue team uses ATVs get man in medical distress out of Saanich park and to hospital

Cedarhill Road closed as firefighters, paramedics rescue man in Mount Douglas Park

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

Saanich police used a drone to investigate a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal West Saanich Road crash

Driver who died veered across center line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 11

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Most Read