A strong message was sent from BC Health Minister Adrian Dix earlier Monday during a press conference surrounding updates on the novel coronavirus.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced updated Canadian policies that Canada would be banning all non-residents from entering the country, however this would not apply to US travelers. Dix believes that temporary refusal should change.
“We remain concerned that access from visitors from the United States continues to be allowed given the situation, particularly in King and Snohomish county in Washington state, which effects British Columbia more than anywhere else,” Dix said at a press conference in Victoria.
Washington state has been one of the bigger epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak in North America. They’ve currently reported 750 confirmed cases to go along with over 40 deaths linked to the virus. Along with sharing a border with mainland British Columbia, Washington’s biggest city, Seattle, has a direct thoroughfare to Victoria via the Clipper ferry.
“It’s our strong view and it’s our strong message that visitors from the United States not come to British Columbia. Don’t come,” said Dix.
Although Trudeau has left the border with the United States, his press conference earlier today indicated that officials would consider closing it in the future.
BC officials also announced today that gatherings of over 50 people would be cancelled for the immediate future in order to limit the risk of spreading the virus.
“That’s aligned with what we are seeing in the United States and I know that will have an impact on many people, but we have also seen that business are taking responsibility, municipalities and other agencies are shutting down places where people are gathering,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry during the same press conference.
Henry also revealed there are 30 new cases confirmed in British Columbia, including seven new cases on Vancouver Island.