BC & Alberta Advise Not To Travel Outside Of Canada As New COVID-19 Cases Increase

Both provinces have banned all large gatherings.
Stay Within Canada: BC And Alberta Ask You To Avoid International Travel

As novel coronavirus cases climb, Western Canada is amping up their actions. Two provinces' top doctors just announced that they're trusting locals to stay within Canada, but won't be blocking borders. Not only should you stay put, but also all gatherings of over 250 people are effectively cancelled. B.C. and Alberta are taking big steps to keep people safe and they say taking a trip outside of Canada right now is a risk.

"These are extraordinary circumstances, and our public health measures must rise to the challenge we face," said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer, in a conference on Thursday, March 12.

"Travel outside Canada is very risky right now," added B.C. top doctor Dr. Bonnie Henry in a different conference later the same day.

If you're outside the nation, B.C. will require you to voluntarily isolate yourself for 14 days, said Henry.

"Given the rapid spread of this virus, it is no longer possible to assess health risks for the duration of the trip," said Hinshaw.

However, neither B.C. nor Alberta will be enforcing the travel ban at the border.

During her conference, Henry announced seven more coronavirus cases in B.C. that were just confirmed during the day. This brings the total in the province at 53.

Henry explained that a majority of the cases in B.C. came after international travel. Five cases came from China, and 16 had travelled from Iran.

At the same time, both provinces also announced that they're cancelling every large event with over 250 people.

The ban only applies to social gatherings like conferences or sporting, cultural, and community events. Public schools and daycares remain open.

The 250 figure isn't based on science, Henry explained, but more because they "think it’s the right number and the right judgement."

Despite the bans, both Alberta and B.C. are currently at low risk for coronavirus. However, the number of cases is creeping up.

Earlier the same day in Calgary, the first child in Canada to catch COVID-19 was confirmed. Their daycare was immediately closed.

"This is for the protection of your personal health but also for the health of the community as well," said Henry.

NOW WATCH Videos Show Big Line & Employees Wiping Carts At Montreal Costco Amid Coronavirus Panic

Narcity Surveys 📋

Comments 💬

Our comment section is a place to promote self-expression, freedom of speech and positivity. We encourage discussion and debate, but our pages must remain a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and the environment is respectful.

In order to make this possible, we monitor comments to keep spam, hate speech, violence, and vulgarity off our pages. Comments are moderated according to our Community Guidelines.

Please note that Narcity Media does not endorse the opinions expressed in the comment section of an article. Narcity Media has the right to remove comments, ban or suspend any user without notice, or close a story’s comment section at any time.

First and last names will appear with each comment and the use of pseudonyms is prohibited. By commenting, you acknowledge that Narcity Media has the right to use & distribute your content across our properties.