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B.C. cracking down on travel outside of province amid new COVID surge

B.C. New Democratic Party Leader and Premier John Horgan is pictured during the last election campaign in May 2017 in Coquitlam, British Columbia.
Craig McCulloch
British Columbia Premier John Horgan in May 2017.

New travel restrictions are being introduced within British Columbia. They're designed to help fight high COVID-19 numbers and relieve the strain on hospitals.
British Columbia Premier John Horgan says people should not be traveling outside their local health authority except for essential purposes. He also says signs will be going up along the B.C. and Alberta border telling travelers, unless it is essential, they should not be here.

The action comes as the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths has averaged around1,000 a day, but hospitalizations have been high and slowly increasing.

Horgan says they will deploy what is called a “counterattack,” which is the method used to find intoxicated drivers.

"These would be random audits; we're not putting up booths at the borders of, going from Chilliwack into Hope," he said. "We're going to be randomly checking as we would during a counterattack program -- all vehicles over a period of time on a piece of highway somewhere in British Columbia."

Horgan says he will be consulting Black, Indigenous and people of color so there will not be any fear of repercussions.

As of Monday, 441 COVID-19 patients are in the hospital, 138 in intensive care throughout British Columbia.   

More details on what is essential travel and what fines may be imposed are expected this Friday.

The premier also says that starting Friday, BC Ferries will start to cancel reservations and not allow recreational vehicles on their ships. They will also not add any more sailings for the Canadian May long weekend.