B.C. not planning on implementing 14-day quarantine period for out of province travellers

Province of BC
B.C. will not be requiring non-essential travellers from out of province to quarantine, according to Premier Horgan.

B.C. will not be requiring non-essential travellers from out of province to quarantine.

During a press conference Wednesday, Premier John Horgan said, unlike Manitoba, which recently introduced measures that require all non-essential out-of-province travellers to quarantine for 14 days, British Columbia will not be doing the same.

“It would be a logistical challenge,” he said.

Horgan said the decision was made after examining the “legal and other ramifications” of bringing forward restrictions on domestic non-essential travel and the fact that there are too many ways to get into B.C. compared to Manitoba. However, he said things could change if COVID-19 cases are linked to more people from out of province.

“If we see, through public health, an increase in the number of people from outside of British Columbia is contributing significantly to the increase in community outbreaks, we will take action. We did the legal work, we know what we would be required to do to put in place restrictions on internal travel, but we don’t believe its necessary at this time,” he said.

“Per capita their case counts are frightening, I can understand why [Manitoba] would want to do that,” Horgan said, adding that there were enough challenges implementing the federal government’s quarantine requirement.

RELATED: Manitoba requiring travellers from all other provinces to self isolate

Implementing such a measure would need to be effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19, said Horgan.

“We don’t want to make symbolic statements, we want to make sure we are suppressing community spread and that means following the orders that are in place,” he said.

While British Columbia might not be restricting domestic travel for the time being, the premier had a strong warning for those coming here.

“If you are coming to British Columbia on non-essential travel … you better behave appropriately, you better follow our public health guidelines or we will come down you like a ton of bricks,” said Horgan.

“We want to welcome you to British Columbia . . . but not today.”

Horgan’s remarks came on the one year anniversary since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province.

“These have been challenging times in terms of personal behaviour, we have seen extraordinary acts of kindness and we have seen brutal acts of racism and violence against people for no particular beyond the colour of their skin,” said Horgan.

The premier’s remarks also come just a few days after Dr. Bonnie Henry reminded British Columbians to reduce their non-essential contacts while urging residents to “do more” to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Horgan said the majority of British Columbians have stepped up and done their part and that Henry’s comments were directed at a “small group” of people who continue to flaunt the orders.

“The notion that someone with a penthouse condo in Vancouver declaring it a nightclub and not allowing the law enforcement to ensure that they are living up to public health regulations, that is the type behaviour that Dr. Henry was talking about on Monday,” said Horgan, referring to a Vancouver man who was fined after he turned his condo into a makeshift nightclub.

“We need people who are not paying attention to give themselves a bit of a shake and get with the rest of us.”

RELATED: Many feel they are following COVID restrictions as B.C.’s top doctor asks people to do more

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