During a press briefing late this week, B.C.’s Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth clarified the new ban on non-essential travel in our province, which is meant to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
New “reasonable exemptions” were added, and he made it clear what powers the police have, and what fines will be issued, and why.
Late in the day on Friday, the BC RCMP issued a press release with clarification on what they plan to do, and in it they noted that "When a road check is active, a notification will also be made on the BC RCMP website and social media channels."
The message here is that they're giving people a heads up, and you'll be able to easily find out if and where checkpoints are up along highways between zones you're not supposed to be traveling.
To test this, we decided to see if there might be a surprise checkpoint on Hwy 1 today, on what would normally be a busy travel afternoon, driving over the imaginary COVID border which exists between Chilliwack and Hope (the "Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley" and "Northern/Interior" regional zones), then back.
As you’ll see in the time-lapse video here, while there’s a whole lot of construction happening (and seemingly not many places where the RCMP could even safely pull people over), there were no stops in either direction between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. when we visited the home of the best Rambo chainsaw carving on the planet.
So I guess follow the @BCRCMP account on Twitter if you plan to travel, so you know if you'll get stopped/fined? Or don't travel? The answer seems to depend on if you ask the government or the police.