The restrictions on travel across British Columbia will be extended until mid-June in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 and variants of concern.
Provincial officials revealed B.C.'s Restart Plan Tuesday (May 25), which indicates the restrictions that prohibit non-essential travel between three regional zones in the province will continue until June 15; recreational travel within a regional zone is permitted.
The regional zones are:
- Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Coastal Health regions);
- Vancouver Island (Island Health region); and
- Northern/Interior (Interior Health and Northern Health regions).
Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth told reporters in a press briefing on April 23 that a $575 fine will be issued to people who contravene the order restricting non-essential travel in the province under the Emergency Program Act. The order has been extended and people from outside the province who are travelling in B.C. for non-essential reasons can be subject to the same enforcement measures.
Under the EPA, an order restricting non-essential travel between certain regions of the province remains in place until June 15 at midnight.
Non-essential travel under the Emergency Program Act
Only one person has been issued a ticket for non-essential travel under the Emergency Program Act. On May 1, a North Vancouver man heading over the Malahat when he was pulled over for speeding and other offences by an RCMP traffic officer. The officer asked the driver why he was travelling and he was told to get back on the ferry.
When stopped at a road check restricting non-essential travel, police only have the authority to request:
- a driver’s name, address and driver’s license
- any available documentation regarding driver’s name and address (for example, secondary identification that confirms a driver’s residential address if recently moved)
- the purpose of the driver’s travel (documentation regarding travel is not required)
Passengers in vehicles will not be checked.