British Columbians can still go camping in their own region, says Dr. Bonnie Henry regarding non-essential travel restrictions that took effect Friday.
On Thursday (April 22), the provincial health officer said people looking to enjoy the outdoors this spring can still go camping – just closer to home.
“If you do need a break, then go to a place that’s close by,” Henry said. “Go for a hike within your local area. If you’re going camping, go camping within your local health area.”
B.C. residents will not be able to book accommodations or a camping site outside of their local health authority, which is being enforced at the discretion of the campsite operator.
For the purposes of the new travel restrictions, Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions are being treated as a single zone, said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.
Remaining zones consist of Vancouver Island as well as Northern and Interior regions.
Operators are also being asked to cancel any already-made bookings. BC Parks is said it is ensuring those who booked a provincial camping site outside of their health authority are refunded.
A checkpoint system will now see police at major highway and ferry crossings, able to slap $575 fines upon non-essential travellers.
The Emergency Program Act measures are aimed at preventing COVID-19 spread between parts of the province, Farnworth said.
“If we act now and do the right thing, we can still have a summer like those we are all used to.”
The travel ban will remain in effect until May 25.
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