Starting on Friday, April 23, B.C.'s new travel restrictions prohibit residents from non-essential travel outside their regional zones. If you're asking yourself "what is essential travel in B.C.?" the provincial government has updated its website with a list of reasons to travel that count as essential.
B.C. is split up into three regional zones: Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, and Northern/Interior. If you want to leave your region, it needs to be for one of the reasons below or you could face getting fined.
The travel restrictions don't apply to:
- Travelling for work or volunteer work
- Moving to a new "principal residence" or helping someone else move
- Commercial transport of goods
- Receiving health care services or helping someone to do so
- Going to court
- Complying with a court order
- Spending time with your child if they are a minor
- Accessing childcare
- Going to class or training at a post-secondary institution
- An emergency response such as search and rescue operations
- Helping or caring for someone with a psychological, behavioural, health, physical, cognitive, or mental condition or impairment
- Being an essential visitor to a senior or long-term care resident "as provided in the guidance of the Ministry of Health"
- Attending a funeral service
- If you've got a special exception for "travelling under the authority of a variance of an order issued by the provincial health officer under the Public Health Act if the variance was made before this section comes into force"
- If you live in Bella Coola Valley or Central Coast and are travelling to Port Hardy for essential goods
- If you live in the area of Hope and are travelling to Chilliwack for essential goods
- If you live in the Nisga'a Health Authority region and are travelling into the Northern-Interior Health Authority region for essential goods
- If you are returning home to your main residence
The province will be setting up roadside stops, similar to traffic stops for drinking and driving, to ensure people aren't travelling outside of their regions for non-essential reasons.
The new restrictions will be enforced with fines.