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

These Douglas fir logs were recently found poached on Stoney Hill in North Cowichan’s forest reserve. (Larry Pynn/sixmountains.ca)
OPINION: Cowichan Valley’s Six Mountains Forest: War or Peace—The Choice is Ours

Icel Dobel writes in favour of protecting Cowichan Valley forests

North Cedar Volunteer Fire Department crews at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Barnes Road near Holden Corso Road in Cedar. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Jeep rolls over on wet afternoon in Cedar, occupants OK

Incident happened Monday, May 17, on Barnes Road

The former St. Joseph’s School converted to the St. Joseph’s Art Studios in 2019. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Former Chemainus St. Joseph’s School site sold to addictions recovery group

Diocese stresses the importance of a community outreach option in its decision

The bow-legged bear was seen roaming 2nd Avenue on Friday, May 7 and again in Brown Drive Park on May 13. (Submitted photo)
Bow-legged Ladysmith bear euthanized after vet examination

CO Stuart Bates said the bear had obvious health issues

The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District is working with several Vancouver Island art councils on the Digitial Innovation Group to improve digital skills for Island artists. (Submitted photo)
Digital Innovation Group supports digital literacy for Island artists

The goal is to leverage digital skills to promote Vancouver Island as an ‘arts powerhouse’

North Cedar Volunteer Fire Department crews at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Barnes Road near Holden Corso Road in Cedar. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Jeep rolls over on wet afternoon in Cedar, occupants OK

Incident happened Monday, May 17, on Barnes Road

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Nathan Zuk had left his mother’s residence in Whaletown on Cortes Island in mid-December 2020 in a 14’ skiff rowboat and headed to an unknown location near the Pryce Channel, Deer passage, or Toba Inlet. Photo courtesy RCMP
RCMP need help finding man who set off from Cortes Island in 14-foot rowboat

Nathan Zuk left in December, may have been last seen in Toba Inlet approximately three weeks ago

Most Read