B.C. to start doing roadside checks to ensure people are staying in their communities

B.C. Premier John Horgan said in the daily coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing (April 19) that new emergency orders will be issued to restrict travel.

"They did not pause to party on the beach." 

B.C. Premier John Horgan admonished party goers in the daily coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing Monday (April 19), adding that orders that will be issued this week will restrict people's ability to leave their health authorities. 

Horgan said that no new travel restrictions will be put in place today, but he added that "this is not the time to pack up the Winnebago and travel around British Columbia.

"At this point, non-essential travel should be limited to local travel only."

The premier reinforced Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry's message from last week, encouraging British Columbians to stay in their respective neighbourhoods. 

All current guidelines and orders will remain in place. However, people will not be able to book camping spots outside of their respective health areas because the tour operator in that community will not book them. 

Travel orders under the Emergency Program Act

On Friday, Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth will issue orders under the Emergency Program Act to restrict people's ability to leave their health authority.

"This will be conducted through random audits, not unlike roadside stops for a counter-attack during the Christmas season. They will be susceptible to all travellers, not just a few travellers, and again they will be random and there will be a fine if you are travelling outside of your area, without a legitimate reason," said Horgan.

"We will be consulting with the BIPOC community to make sure that we bring forward these restrictions in a way that does not give anyone fear that there will be additional repercussions. This is about travel, there will be no additional authority given to police.

"This will be a random audit to ensure people are following the guidelines."

At the end of this week, Horgan stated that BC Ferries will stop accepting bookings for recreational vehicles like campers and trailers. It will also be contacting its passengers that have booked reservations to make sure that their travel is essential and not recreational.

These measures will be extended into the May long weekend.

Additionally, the province will be putting new border signs along the Alberta border, reminding travellers coming from outside the province, that unless they're coming for essential business, they should not enter B.C.

Return to Vancouver Is Awesome