Expect fines, closures as B.C. restricts travel because of COVID cases
Authorities in British Columbia have announced more details on travel restrictions within the province as hospitalizations due to COVID-19 climb to an all-time high there.
British Columbia Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says those traveling outside of designated areas can be fined up to $575 Canadian ($460 US). Details on exactly how that will be done will be announced later this week.
While the restrictions were originally announced last week, he says the delay is because he wants to make sure enforcement is done right. Farnworth also says he has met with a number of groups representing ethnic communities, who raised some important concerns.
"Things will be done in a way that is that that is equitable and respectful to all British Columbians," he said. "And our discussions with the police have been very much -- they are very much aware of that as well.”
The restrictions are set to expire on May 25.
Farnworth is trying to avoid what happened earlier in Ontario, where similar initiatives were met with stiff resistance from different police departments.
Farnworth says the checkpoints will be on highways leaving the different regions. Provincial Parks and tourism operators like hotels will be canceling reservations for those traveling from outside the local area.
BC Ferries will also cancel reservations involving recreational vehicles and not increasing the amount of sailings during what traditionally were high-traffic periods.
The British Columbia government has said essential travel will include things like paid and volunteer work, moving primary residences, transporting commercial goods, to receive or help a person get health care, attending court, separated parents spending time with children, attending school, providing care for those with medical needs, attending funerals, or coming back home.