FILE – A B.C. Ferry is seen arriving at Horseshoe Bay near West Vancouver on March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

FILE – A B.C. Ferry is seen arriving at Horseshoe Bay near West Vancouver on March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

‘Can’t afford to lose another summer’: B.C. tourism group supports COVID travel rules

Details of new measures expected to be released Friday

The organization representing tourism operators in B.C. said they’re “supportive” of new travel measures announced Monday (April 19) to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Walt Judas, CEO of Tourism Industry Association of BC, said the group has been working with the province on trying to get a handle on the pandemic, which in B.C. has reached record-breaking heights in recent weeks.

Judas said that while the association would not want to see a travel ban, they are hoping the more stringent measures – details of which are expected Friday – will help operators turn away out-of-region travellers.

He said that prior pleas and recommendations to stay local were “open to interpretation” in a way he hopes the new order will not be. While details of the new orders were not announced Monday, Premier John Horgan did provide some clues.

“If you live in the Fraser Health area, by all means, take a few days, get outside, perhaps go to a campground in your local area but do not try and book somewhere outside of your area because a tourism operator in that community will not book you passage.”

The travel restrictions will be in place through at least the May long weekend, and will include “random audits” of people travelling between health regions.

Judas said the clarity expected Friday will help tourism operators by giving them government backing.

“We can also say unequivocally now to our guests who are planning to book some travel to British Columbia: Why are you travelling here? Are you aware of the official order that’s in place?” Judas said.

“There are lots of things that we can communicate, that was really more difficult to communicate before.”

He also urged people to not take liberties, even when allowed, with the restrictions by travelling from one edge of a health authority to another.

Judas said the reaction has been mixed.

“Not everybody will like it. Not everybody will be in agreement,” he said. “But on the other hand, I think from what we’ve heard, tourism operators are very fearful that we’re going to lose another summer, or see more stringent restrictions come summer unless we do something today.”

For people looking to explore their local region over the next few weeks, Judas had a few messages: “Stay local, shop local, support local, follow the order and stay home, stay as close to home as possible.”

READ MORE: Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused, Horgan says

READ MORE: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirustravel

Just Posted

File photo
Paramedic training returning to Castlegar

Emergency Medical Responder and Primary Care Paramedic training to take place in Castlegar

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

South Okanagan MP Richard Cannings wants to see dental coverage for all Canadians. (courtesy of Pixabay)
OPINION: South Okanagan MP fights for universal dental care

One in three Canadians have no dental coverage, with COVID making it even worse

COVID-19 cases are once again dropping across the West Kootenay. Illustration: BC Centre for Disease Control
Ten new cases of COVID-19 in Nelson area

Numbers are steadily dropping across the West Kootenay

Dep. Fire Chiefs Rich Piché (left) and Stephane Dionne said they were disappointed that only one person showed up at the George Evans fire hall’s recruitment drive Tuesday evening, May. 11. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks Fire/Rescue says rural fire hall at risk of closing

Home insurance could spike across North Fork if George Evans fire hall loses fire protection status

Conservation Service Officer Kyle Bueckert holds a gold eagle that was revived from acute rodent poisoning Monday, May 12. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks residents, Conservation Service Officer save poisoned eagle

CSO Kyle Bueckert released the eagle into the wild Thursday, May 13

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

The Libby Dam on the Kootenai River in Montana. The dam created the Koocanusa Reservoir, which straddles the B.C./Montana border. (photo courtesy Wikipedia)
Outflow at Libby Dam to be increased

Volume increase to aid migration and spawning conditions for endangered white sturgeon in the Kootenai River

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Most Read