Stricter COVID-19 traveller screening that was announced Wednesday in British Columbia will mean international flights will temporarily be suspended at Kelowna International Airport (YLW).
Starting Friday, all international flights arriving in B.C. will be diverted
to Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
“There were flights coming in to Kelowna and Victoria from areas in the U.S. in particular and those will all be diverted to YVR to make this an easier process for us,” B.C.’s chief provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said. “We are hearing that people are continuing to come back and, as a matter of fact, there’s a groundswell of many people in the U.S., for example, wanting to get home as the crisis continues there.”
All travellers returning to B.C. must present their self-isolation plan for 14 days.
“This document, which can be submitted online or completed in person on arrival, must show that returning travellers have supports in place to safely self-isolate,” according to the province.
At YVR, if the self-isolation plan is approved by officials, travellers can head directly home. Travellers with inadequate plans will be brought to an approved quarantine site for 14 days.
Major land border crossings will also be manned by officials ensuring those returning home to B.C. have plans in place.
At the Osoyoos, Douglas, Pacific and Boundary Bay border crossings, individuals with inadequate plans will still be sent home and officials will follow up. Travellers with no plans will be directed to approved quarantine sites for self-isolation.
“The federal government will continue to use its authority under the Quarantine Act to ensure compliance with the emergency order requiring individuals entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days, enforceable by the RCMP. Maximum penalties for breaking the federal emergency order include fines of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months, or up to $1 million and/or imprisonment up to three years for a person who causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm.”
Self-isolation plans can be submitted at: www.gov.bc.ca/returningtravellers