Shortly after Tofino and Ucluelet announced that they were going to be disallowing visitors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Quadra Island followed suit.
The island community announced on Friday it will be restricting all non-essential access, asking visitors to stay away due to concerns of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Every year visitors from all over British Columbia and from around the world are drawn to the island for its warm welcome, outstanding recreational opportunities and rich First Nations culture, but in light of the growing crisis surrounding the Covid-
19 pandemic community leaders are asking that visitors defer their travel plans to Quadra Island until further notice,” a statement from Electoral Area Director, Jim Abram, said in a press release.
The isolated community points to limited resources and vulnerable residents as the reason for their travel restriction, in an attempt to keep the area safe and healthy.
“Like other small destinations we are at special risk of exposure from people who may unknowingly travel with the infection. We all know now that isolation and limiting travel are key strategies in fighting this epidemic. Our community is asking anyone thinking of visiting Quadra, for discretionary reasons, reconsider and make plans to come at a safer time when we look forward to welcoming our visitors back,” said Abram.
The move echoes those of other isolated areas on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Both Tofino and Ucluelet have asked for visitors to reschedule their travel plans to a later date. In Quadra Island’s case, they pointed to provincial Crown corporation and tourism marketing giant Destination BC as another indicator they needed to close their shores.
“Destination BC today put all domestic and international marketing campaigns on hold in a clear signal that it is time to put the brakes on tourism during this public health emergency,” stated Abram
Tourism continues to take a major hit during the pandemic. Along with local communities asking visitors to stay away, the cruising industry, tour bus companies, and airlines have all dealt with economic blows.