B.C. to require people returning to Canada to have self-isolation plan

Click to play video: 'B.C. government to step-up enforcement of self-isolation rules for returning travellers'
B.C. government to step-up enforcement of self-isolation rules for returning travellers
B.C. government to step-up enforcement of self-isolation rules for returning travellers – Apr 8, 2020

The B.C. government now legally requires all travellers entering B.C. from outside Canada to submit a 14-day self-isolation plan, as part of federal laws to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“As we welcome British Columbians back home, we must stay vigilant and do everything we can,” Premier John Horgan told a news conference on Wednesday.

“As we follow the advice and guidance of our provincial health officer, it’s also important to take care of one another. By supporting people through a self-isolation plan after international travel, we will keep people safe and help flatten the curve.”

Click to play video: 'B.C. Premier John Horgan addresses province in televised speech'
B.C. Premier John Horgan addresses province in televised speech

The measure is in place effective immediately. You can view the form to submit your plan here.

Story continues below advertisement

The plan, which can be submitted online or completed in person on arrival to B.C., must show that returning travellers have supports in place to safely self-isolate for two weeks, such as ordering groceries to be delivered instead of going to buy them at a store.

Starting Friday, provincial officials will be on hand at Vancouver International Airport and major land border crossings to make sure the plans are complete and assist anyone who needs it.

If an airline traveller arrives at YVR and an adequate self-isolation plan is proposed but needs additional support, the person may be taken or directed to an accommodation site to begin quarantine until any outstanding details of their plan are included.

Horgan did not have any details on the location of the quarantine areas, and said he’s working with the federal government to coordinate.

If a traveller arrives at a major land border crossing and needs help to create a plan, they will be sent directly home to start self-isolating, with a check-in from officials to follow.

READ MORE: B.C. premier extends state of emergency, asks people to ‘re-commit’ to COVID-19 fight

Read next: Liberal, Conservative MPs can no longer bill taxpayers for home internet use

The province has repeatedly raised concerns about having enough resources to communicate and enforce public-health orders to those arriving in B.C.

Story continues below advertisement

A couple in B.C.’s Cowichan Valley refused to self-isolate since recently returning from international travel. The mayor of District of North Cowichan said the municipality does not have the power to enforce the federal Quarantine Act — that’s up to the RCMP.

Click to play video: 'Federal government imposes mandatory quarantine for returning travelers'
Federal government imposes mandatory quarantine for returning travelers

The act, which went into effect March 25, states that anyone returning to Canada from another country must immediately self-isolate for 14 days, with penalties of fines or jail time.

Staff with the Canada Border Services Agency were to inform all returning Canadians and permanent residents of the new orders and forbid them from making any stops on their way home.

On Wednesday, Global News has learned there are currently no public health officials stationed at Canada-U.S. land border crossings to assist in screening for COVID-19.

Story continues below advertisement


Sponsored content