B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)

COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

People coming from other provinces for skiing or other non-essential reasons are not increasing B.C.’s COVID-19 risk unless they mingle and party in violation of public health orders on gatherings, Premier John Horgan says.

Asked Wednesday if B.C. is considering following Manitoba’s lead to impose a 14-day quarantine on people entering from other provinces, Horgan said “we can’t and we’re not.” It’s “the logistics, not the legalities,” that rule out border and airport checks similar to those in place for international travel.

“There are four roads in and out of Manitoba,” Horgan said. “We have dozens of roads in and out of British Columbia.”

The other consideration is the actual risk of spreading COVID-19. Using the example of visitors to Whistler, Horgan said people bundled up and skiing are not themselves a risk to others, and Dr. Bonnie Henry’s latest advice on interprovincial travel is that there isn’t evidence that the travel itself is a major problem.

“It’s when people leave the hill and look for the party that we’re seeing transmission,” Horgan said, and that goes for people heading to Whistler from the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island as well as out-of-province visitors.

With legal advice that attempting to ban movement between provinces is unconstitutional, and faced with the impossible task of trying to monitor travel in and out of B.C., Horgan said the best course for him and other premiers is to continue to remind people that this is not the time for non-essential travel, within the province or between them.

RELATED: B.C. ramps up screening for ‘variants of concern’

RELATED: Canada seeks smaller syringes to ration vaccine

If people come into the province and don’t follow the same rules as residents, B.C. law enforcement will “come down on you like a ton of bricks” and the people of B.C. won’t stand for it, he said: “We talk about COVID fatigue, it’s COVID exhaustion, let’s be honest.”

It has been one year since the first active case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in B.C., and more than 1,100 people have died. Horgan was asked if his or Henry’s optimism about controlling the pandemic has diminished. He said the latest news about further delays in vaccine and the emergence of new virus variants has been difficult.

“I’d cut her some slack if she was a bit grumpy on Monday,” he said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 vaccination set to start for B.C. seniors aged 80-plus

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in fatal Chemainus hit-and-run

Investigation expected to be lengthy and involved

The Cowichan Women Against Violence Society is planning on opening a child and youth advocacy centre. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Child and youth advocacy centre eyed for Cowichan

Cowichan Women Against Violence Society hopes to open centre later this year

CVRD to apply for a grant to improve a 4.85-kilometre section of the Cowichan Valley Trail near Shawnigan Lake. (File photo)
CVRD looks to improve section of Cowichan Valley Trail

District applies for $250,000 grant to widen, upgrade 4.8-kilometre section in Shawnigan Lake

Cowichan Valley writer Jennifer Manuel will headlining YakFest on March 1. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Cowichan Valley writer to headline next YakFest on March 1

YakFest is a B.C.-based monthly women’s event held online via Zoom

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

This poster, spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19 restrictions, has been popping up in communities across Vancouver Island.
UPDATED: Poster popping up in Island communities falsely claiming COVID restrictions are over

Unattributed poster claims COVID restrictions ended March 1; Island Health responds

(Pxhere)
Compensation fund opens for B.C. students negatively affected by incorrect exam marks

Marks for 2019 provincial exams were incorrectly tabulated

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Time to check the mail: Every household to receive a Canada Post postcard this spring

Postcard can be mailed for free to any address in Canada

Most Read