Travel restrictions stock image, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay

Roden: Stop looking for loopholes and find something to do at home

The recent travel restrictions have inspired a lot of people to try to find ways around them

The B.C. government has clarified details around the travel restrictions in place through the May long weekend, and goodness me, I’ll bet there haven’t been so many people looking for loopholes outside of a knitters’ convention.

Never mind that there is a broad range of exceptions to the restrictions: you can travel just about anywhere in B.C. for work, education, or medical reasons, or because you’re moving, or helping someone else receive health care, or transporting commercial goods, or returning to your principal residence.

Interior Health and Northern Health have been combined into one zone, inside which you could comfortably fit several good-sized European countries. Indeed, a quick calculation shows that you could slot Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, and Luxembourg into the 816,000 square kilometres of the combined Interior and Northern Health regions, and still have room left to include a side trip to Monaco if you were so inclined.

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 road checks won’t require travel documents

RELATED: Snowbirds flying away after a winter spent in the mid-Island instead of the U.S.

Just because you can travel somewhere doesn’t mean you should, however, given that whole global pandemic/rising case count/overtaxed medical system situation we’re currently dealing with. The restrictions are also only in place temporarily, until we can get more people vaccinated.

Yet there has been a non-stop chorus of complaining about these restrictions. Never, it seems, have so many people who don’t live there desperately needed to go to Nelson, or Nanaimo, or Nakusp, or Naramata, or Nimpo Lake, or anywhere else in B.C. that might or might not start with the letter “N”. And they seem to need to go there right this very minute; waiting until after the Victoria Day weekend simply won’t do.

I’ve heard a few people on the news complain about having to postpone planned holidays; holidays they were looking forward to as a way to unwind and de-stress after the last year. I will mildly point out the blindingly obvious — that we all want to unwind and de-stress after the last year — so I’m not entirely sure what makes these people such very special snowflakes.

Also, complaining that you’ve had to delay your wine-tasting weekend in the Okanagan, or your golf getaway in the Rockies, might not garner you quite as much sympathy as you expect, from those who can only dream of such delights at the best of times.

For a year now, B.C. residents have been advised to restrict travel to their own area, for essential reasons only. On Easter weekend I had to go to Cache Creek for work-related reasons (did you know that journalists are classed as essential workers?), and on my way there and back I saw a steady stream of RVs and campers heading north along Highway 1.

I don’t think I’m wildly off-base in suspecting that these were not essential trips, unless there are an awful lot of British Columbians whose only family vehicle is a 35-foot RV and who all had urgent work, education, or medical reasons to hit the road in their recreational vehicle on a sunny long weekend.

Please, just take a deep breath, look at the calendar, and reflect on the fact that all of the communities listed a few paragraphs back are lovely places with many charms and delights, and well worth a visit. All we’re being asked is not to make that visit right now.

I’m fairly confident that they will still be there when we’re allowed to travel freely once more, and the inhabitants will welcome you with open (and hopefully vaccinated) arms.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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