(Mike Farnworth/BC Gov News)

The Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor, Mike Farnworth, has declared the inter-provincial travel ban this morning until May 25th.

The travel ban is effective immediately and will prohibit residents from travelling outside of their health region or be at risk of a $575 fine.

Health regions will be broken down into three regions.

The BC government is working with local police agencies to set up check stops at borders of these health regions. Details of these check stops will be released next week, according to Minister Farnworth.

“Police will not engage in random checks, and enforcement measures will be informed by discussions with stakeholders on limiting the impacts to racialized communities,” said Minister Farnworth in a written statement.

“These road checks will be set up near ferry terminals and on highway corridors that connect different regions of the province.”

Provincial health officials are still encouraging residents to stay in their local region, despite being able to travel within your health region without penalty.

To help ensure this travel restriction is effective, the Province is working to create highway signage along the border with Alberta, BC Ferries to restrict non-essential vehicle passage and limit sailings, the tourism industry to discourage new bookings from outside their region, and BC Parks to inform the public about restrictions and refund bookings.

What is essential travel?

The BC government detailed a list below:

  • carrying out a work-related purpose, including volunteering
  • moving to a different principal residence or assisting a person to move
  • commercially transporting goods
  • receiving health-care services or social services or assisting someone to receive those services;
  • attending court;
  • complying with a court order;
  • accessing child care;
  • spending parenting time with a minor child;
  • attending classes or receiving training at a post-secondary institution or school;
  • responding to an emergency or a critical incident, including incidents that involve search and rescue operations; 
  • providing care or assistance to a person who requires care or assistance because of:
  • a psychological, behavioral or health condition; or
  • a physical, cognitive or mental impairment.
  • visiting by an essential visitor as provided in the guidance of the Ministry of Health set out in a document titled Ministry of Health – Overview of Visitors in Long-Term Care and Seniors’ Assisted Living that was in effect on April 1, 2021;
  • attending a funeral service;
  • travelling under the authority of a variance of an order issued by the provincial health officer under the Public Health Act if the variance was made before this section comes into force;
  • travelling by residents of the local health areas of Bella Coola Valley or Central Coast to Port Hardy to obtain essential goods and supplies;
  •  travelling by residents of the local health area of Hope to Chilliwack to obtain essential goods and supplies;
  • travelling by residents of the Nisga’a Health Authority region into the Northern-Interior Health Authority region; and/or
  • returning to one’s own principal residence.

 

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