Periodic roadblocks but no individual stops planned for B.C.'s COVID-19 travel rules

·2 min read

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government is looking at using periodic roadblocks to limit travel in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and the solicitor general, says the checks would be set up at locations like ferry terminals or along major highways leading out of Metro Vancouver.

In a statement today, Farnworth says the goal is to discourage recreational travel but there will be no random, individual stops.

On Monday, Premier John Horgan said unenforceable restrictions would not be considered.

Farnworth says his ministry is also working to ensure the new rules don't unfairly impact racialized communities.

The statement says more information is expected later in the week.

"Most British Columbians know they have a part to play in helping to curb the spread of COVID-19 and I am sure they will adhere to the new rules and stay in their region," Farnworth says.

“Our intention is to discourage recreational and leisure travel, not punish people, and we are not interested in disrupting commuters and people going about their lives."

Police will wait for an order under the Emergency Program Act and any associated guidelines before proceeding, says the ministry.

The government has been working with the tourism industry and BC Ferries to cancel bookings that have been made and to not accept new ones from people living outside their intended destination, Horgan said Monday.

Measures that ban indoor dining and adult activities at gyms have also been extended for another five weeks, matching the length of the travel restrictions, which will continue until at least May 24.

On Monday, the B.C. government said the province had 2,960 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press