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Premier says B.C. can’t impose restrictions on interprovincial travel

The province can’t stop out-of-province visitors from coming to B.C.

Premier John Horgan says their legal options made it clear that they can’t stop people from other provinces from coming to B.C.

“We can impose restrictions on people travelling for non-essential purposes, if they are causing harm to the health and safety of British Columbians,” Horgan noted.

“Much of current interprovincial travel is work related and therefore cannot be restricted. Public health officials tell us what is most important is for everyone to obey health orders, wherever they are, rather than imposing mobility rules. Therefore, we will not be imposing travel restrictions at this time.”

Horgan says they’ve heard from many people who are worried travel from outside B.C. has contributed to the spread of COVID-19. 

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“In response to those concerns, we asked for legal options on restricting interprovincial travel and a better understanding of the impact of travel on transmission,” he explained.

“If we see transmission increase due to interprovincial travel, we will impose stronger restrictions on non-essential travellers. We will continue to work with the tourism and hospitality sectors to make sure all possible safety precautions are in place.”

As for out-of-country travel, Horgan says the Prime Minister is exploring further international travel restrictions, “and B.C. stands ready to assist.” 

“I asked my colleagues to carry a message back to their citizens: now is not the time for non-essential travel. We ask all British Columbians to stay close to home while vaccines become available,” Horgan said. 

“And to all Canadians outside of B.C., we look forward to your visit to our beautiful province when we can welcome you safely.”

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