Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)

Road blocks to enforce B.C. COVID restrictions on recreational travel out of health authority

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

B.C. public health officials are extending the current COVID-19 restrictions for another five weeks, and imposing new travel restrictions – backed by road checks – to keep people in their home health regions.

Premier John Horgan said Monday that as of Friday, police will conduct roadside “audits” to make sure British Columbians are not travelling outside their local health region. Signs will also be placed at Alberta border crossings to notify people that B.C. expects essential travel only.

Campground and other tourism accommodation operators have agreed to refuse bookings from out-of-region customers until after the May long weekend, and B.C. Ferries will refuse reservations for recreational vehicles and cancel extra sailings for the Victoria Day weekend, which is traditionally seen as the start of camping season.

“We require serious measures if we’re going to get to the May long weekend and salvage our summer,” Horgan said.

The road checks will be similar to Christmas counter-attack checks for impaired driving, but “there will be no additional authority given to police,” Horgan said. “If we can’t do it without an order, we’re prepared to bring an order in.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced extension of dining and fitness restrictions Monday, after telling restaurant and bar owners last week to expect it. She took note of a scattering of weekend parties as warm weather has returned, and warned that people should not be planning vacations or other non-essential trips until after the May 24 long weekend.

With new COVID-19 cases running near 1,000 a day recently and the number of people in hospital with coronavirus-related conditions creeping up, workplace restrictions are becoming more important and there have been violations.

“We’ve seen that on patios for example, and the numbers of people who are in gyms,” Henry said.

RELATED: B.C. to offer vaccine to 40+ people in ‘high-risk communities’

RELATED: B.C. moves to guarantee no loss of pay for getting vaccinated


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Just Posted

A forest of dance-protesters outside the BC Legislature on April 11. These participants were doing the Dance for the Ancient Forest in support of the Fairy Creek blockade and against old-growth logging. (Zoë Ducklow/News Staff)
Arrests begin at Fairy Creek blockade on Vancouver Island

Five protesters arrested as RCMP begin to enforce injunction

Ryan Cootes, Erin Bremner-Mitchell, Bill Collins and Mike Williamson of Cascadia Seaweed Corporation are here seen holding up seaweed grown in Barkley Sound in July 2020. The Sidney-based company has organized the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival running May 17 to May 23. (Cascadia Seaweed Corporation/Submitted)
Let’s hear it for seaweed: slimy, unsexy and the world’s greatest untapped food source

Experts talks emerging industry’s challenges and potential at Sidney inaugural Seawood Days Festival

A crew of WestCoast WILD Adventures employees tackled an onslaught of litter left at the ‘Locks of Love’ fence at Wally Creek on May 2. (Anne-Marie Gosselin photo)
Litter woes continue at ‘Locks of Love’ fence near Tofino-Ucluelet

Popular Highway 4 spot continues to be consumed by disrespect

Brenda and Steve Smith with a photo of Derek Descoteau. It’s been five years since Derek was murdered in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved Chemainus murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

Saanich police are asking for the public’s help locating missing woman Christina Olsen, 41, who was last seen on May 15 in the 4500-block of Blenkinsop Road. (Photo via the Saanich Police Department)
MISSING: Police seek woman last seen at Saanich mental health facility

Christina Olsen, 41, left Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility on May 15

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

A thunderstorm pictured in Fraser Valley in 2021. (Black Press Media/Jaimie Grafstrom)
Wildfire concerns sparked after 320+ lightning strikes blasted B.C. yesterday

Approximately one-quarter of the province is currently listed as being at moderate risk of fire

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

Announced Tuesday, May 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory. (AP/Steven Senne)
Masks now required at all times inside B.C. gyms, including during workouts

Those who disobey could be subject to a $230 fine

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

Fire investigators employ an aerial ladder truck to do an overhead inspection of fire damage to the Family Practice Clinic that was destroyed by a blaze on the weekend. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Fire destroys Nanaimo medical clinic, doctors will try to keep helping patients

Investigators trying to determine cause of blaze at building on 104th Street

Most Read