Two tourist destinations on Vancouver Island are asking travellers from the Lower Mainland to stay away after a recent surge in COVID-19 cases linked to the area.
Tourism Tofino and Tourism Ucluelet have both posted advisories on their websites reminding visitors of a provincial health order for Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions that restricts residents in those areas from travelling for at least two weeks.
“If you are a resident of the Vancouver Coastal & Fraser Health regions, please note that non-essential travel out of these regions is not recommended until November 23rd at 12:00pm,” reads the advisory on the Tourism Tofino website.
“Please understand that the current COVID-19 situation remains fluid, with government regulations and health guidelines changing rapidly. We monitor provincial health updates closely to ensure both our visitors and residents remain safe and informed.”
Those who have reservations before November 23 are asked to contact their accommodation providers.
A similar advisory on the Tourism Ucluelet website reminds Lower Mainland residents to adhere to the recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer.
“The PHO has strongly encouraged avoiding all non-essential travel to and from home for the next two weeks,” reads the statement.
“If you are scheduled to travel to Ucluelet from these health regions between now and Monday, November 23rd, please speak to your accommodation provider to reschedule your trip until it is safe to travel outside of your community.”
After a major spike in COVID-19 cases Dr. Bonnie Henry issued a provincial health order to lock down social gatherings, travel, indoor group physical activities, and workplaces in the Lower Mainland on November 7.
These restrictions will remain in place until at least November 23.
All existing provincial health orders still apply to health regions outside of the Lower Mainland, but Henry says contact tracers are “not seeing that rapidly increasing number of cases” in other parts of the provinces.
Friday, November 13, saw record breaking daily case numbers in B.C. at 617, and there are currently more people hospitalized with COVID-19 than ever before in the province including two people in ICU in the Island Health region.