Port Alberni RCMP cleared an impromptu COVID-19 “information session” that was obstructing traffic near Sutton Pass on Highway 4 Tuesday.
Port Alberni RCMP were called to a possible disturbance in the area, located west of Port Alberni, on Tuesday morning. When they arrived, police found approximately five people, who lived in surrounding communities, holding an “information session” on COVID-19 with drivers going west.
Police said they spoke to the people who had been obstructing traffic flow. According to police, the group said they had concerns people from outside the area were bringing in the novel coronavirus.
After talking with officers, traffic returned to normal.
Police said no westbound vehicles were stopped from travelling but several vehicles decided to turn around.
Highway 4 connects the western communities of Tofino and Ucluelet with the rest of Vancouver Island. Both Tofino and Ucluelet are popular areas for tourists.
On Tuesday, while the province declared a public health emergency, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Canadians should not be going to the United States and anyone from the U.S. should not be coming here due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We understand that people have concerns and wish to do their part to mitigate the risk to their communities. In order to do so, we must continue to follow direction given by the provincial health authorities and not put yourself or the motoring public at risk by obstructing traffic,” Cpl. Chris Manseau, BC RCMP Media Relations Officer, said in a statement.