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Road checks, getting vaccine from Washington among B.C.'s new tools in COVID fight

British Columbia Solicitor General Mike Farnworth
Province of British Columbia
British Columbia Solicitor General Mike Farnworth

More details are being released on COVID-19 travel restrictions within British Columbia. And discussions are underway that could allow Washington state to share vaccine with its northern neighbors.
British Columbia Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says periodic road checks will now be going up along major highways between designated regions. 

Police will have discretion to issue a ticket of $575 Canadian ($460 US) for nonessential travel. 

Farnworth says he has met recently with ethnic communities and told them police will not gather personal information.  

“Plus, what we also are going to be doing is ensuring that in many of the ethnic communities and language papers – radio, for example – that we are communicating the order in languages that people are able to understand,” Farnworth said.

Dr. Bonnie Henry
Credit Province of British Columbia
Province of British Columbia
Dr. Bonnie Henry

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says there are discussions about getting cross-border truck drivers from B.C. vaccinated in Washington state and a proposal from Point Roberts to share vaccine with Canadians. 

Traveling to access health care is deemed essential. 

The state of Alaska recently vaccinated residents in Stewart, British Columbia, which shares a border with Hyder, Alaska.

Teachers in the province of Manitoba are soon to receive vaccinations in North Dakota.

The Biden administration also announced it is considering releasing millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Canada and other countries. The vaccine is approved for use in Canada, but not currently in the United States.

Since last week, traveling for the purpose of avoiding the risk of abuse or violence and visiting long-term care facilities have been added to the list of what is considered essential travel in British Columbia. 

The B.C. government has previously 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.