Non-essential Travel Prohibited Between Three Zones in the Province

Non-essential Travel Prohibited Between Three Zones in the Province

He says while the order does not stop people from travelling large distances within their regions, this should not be happening regardless.

The reminder comes after the provincial government detailed BC's new orders restricting non-essential travel on Friday morning, which are now in effect across the province.

"At that time, a contravention of this order may be subject to a $575 fine", said Farnworth.

As of this publication, Northern Health has a recorded total of 6,937 cases since the pandemic arrive in the region on March 14, 2020.

Effective immediately, these measures are enacted under the provincial state of emergency, using the extraordinary powers of the Emergency Program Act.

"How will the provincial government ensure that police will not use these expanded police powers as a pretext for other law enforcement actions?"

For all regions, people can travel within the area, but not outside of them.

There are some exceptions to these travel restrictions for things like work, school, child-care services, healthcare services or attending a funeral.

"The order is meant to stop people from going from Vancouver to Tofino or Kamloops to Whistler, for example", said Farnworth.

But Farnworth said there is still a distinction between these legal orders and the current public health guidelines.

"Whistler's mayor, for example, is explicitly asking people not to visit right now".

Farnworth gave the example that he won't be travelling to White Rock for recreation from his home in the Tri-Cities. "Stay in that area", he said.

The new rules, as outlined by Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth at a news briefing today, April 23, have combined the Interior Health and Northern Health regions into one region where people are allowed non-essential travel.

"Over the coming days, we will continue working with police to establish additional measures to ensure they have the necessary authority to conduct periodic roadside checks like the counter attack program at strategic points into and out of the defined regions", Farnworth said.

It plans to work with BC Ferries to "deter" non-essential travel bookings, and with those in the tourism and accommodation sectors to encourage them to decline bookings from outside their regional travel zones as well as to cancel existing bookings.

ICBC for those who have booked road tests outside their region to reschedule those tests without hassle.

"For all regions, people will be able to travel in the region or combined region in which they reside, but not out of their region or combined region", Farnworth said.

"Community transmission and COVID-19 cases - including variants of concern - have increased in our health authorities, with many cases being linked to non-essential travel within B.C.", Henry said.

However, a group that represents front-line RCMP officers has pushed back against the roadblocks, saying it puts more pressure on limited resources and exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections.

"I am calling on everyone to stay in their local communities and support these travel restrictions to stop the most risky travel across regional zones to control the spread of COVID-19 and support our front-line health-care workers".

The National Police Federation released a statement on Wednesday noting it has "grave concerns" about police taking part in enforcing a COVID-19 ban on non-essential travel.

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