Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)

Road blocks to enforce B.C. COVID restrictions on recreational travel out of health authority

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

B.C. public health officials are extending the current COVID-19 restrictions for another five weeks, and imposing new travel restrictions – backed by road checks – to keep people in their home health regions.

Premier John Horgan said Monday that as of Friday, police will conduct roadside “audits” to make sure British Columbians are not travelling outside their local health region. Signs will also be placed at Alberta border crossings to notify people that B.C. expects essential travel only.

Campground and other tourism accommodation operators have agreed to refuse bookings from out-of-region customers until after the May long weekend, and B.C. Ferries will refuse reservations for recreational vehicles and cancel extra sailings for the Victoria Day weekend, which is traditionally seen as the start of camping season.

“We require serious measures if we’re going to get to the May long weekend and salvage our summer,” Horgan said.

The road checks will be similar to Christmas counter-attack checks for impaired driving, but “there will be no additional authority given to police,” Horgan said. “If we can’t do it without an order, we’re prepared to bring an order in.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced extension of dining and fitness restrictions Monday, after telling restaurant and bar owners last week to expect it. She took note of a scattering of weekend parties as warm weather has returned, and warned that people should not be planning vacations or other non-essential trips until after the May 24 long weekend.

With new COVID-19 cases running near 1,000 a day recently and the number of people in hospital with coronavirus-related conditions creeping up, workplace restrictions are becoming more important and there have been violations.

“We’ve seen that on patios for example, and the numbers of people who are in gyms,” Henry said.

RELATED: B.C. to offer vaccine to 40+ people in ‘high-risk communities’

RELATED: B.C. moves to guarantee no loss of pay for getting vaccinated


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Accused drug trafficker to plead to federal, provincial charges in June

Matthew Straume said he’d missed his last court date because he was ill

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Rossland City Council issued a press release critical of Mayor Kathy Moore's travel to the U.S.
Rossland council addresses issue of mayor’s travel to U.S.

Prior to her trip, some councillors and staff expressed deep concerns about her plans

Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks sex crimes trial adjourned until summer

The trial was set to begin at the city courthouse Wednesday, May 5

Photo: Kathleen Saylors
Grand Forks city council votes down motion to support Penticton in paramountcy battle

Coun. Neil Krog insisted Penticton’s issue with Victoria is about city bylaws, not homelessness

Four homes in Johnson Flats were at serious risk of falling into a neighbourhood section of the Kettle River, according to capital project manager Justin Dinsdale. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks shields riverside homes against erosion

Crews have built a modified dike along a section of the Kettle River in Johnson Flats

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Most Read