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Head of UBC school of public health apologizes for Hawaiian trip during COVID-19

Click to play video 'Top B.C. health educator vacationed in Hawaii' Top B.C. health educator vacationed in Hawaii
Top B.C. health educator vacationed in Hawaii – Jan 6, 2021

The head of UBC‘s School of Population and Public Health is apologizing, after travelling for a vacation over the holiday break.

Global News has confirmed that Dr. Peter Berman flew to Hawaii over the holidays, amid COVID-19 restrictions and public health advice not to travel internationally.

Read more: Coronavirus: B.C. city councillor apologizes for travelling to Somalia over the holidays

“I recognize now that I should not have travelled, and that many of you have made sacrifices over these past several weeks that I too should have made,” Berman wrote in a statement.

“I truly regret this decision.”

Berman went on to “reaffirm” his support for public health authorities, and to say he is complying with “all requirements for pandemic control.”

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Where is Jason Kenney? Pressure mounting on the premier to speak publicly – Jan 6, 2021

UBC recruited Berman from Harvard to head the SPPH, of which provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is also a faculty member.

Read more: Alberta MLAs who travelled during COVID-19 pandemic lose ministry portfolios

In a statement, a spokesperson for the university said it was aware that “some university administrators, students, faculty and staff may have chosen to travel over the holiday break.”

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“Individuals in our community are free to make personal decisions around how they choose to spend their personal time,” reads the statement.

“The university has no jurisdiction over policing those private decisions, but expects everyone in the community to follow health guidelines.”

Click to play video 'Hospital system CEO resigns from Ontario COVID-19 advisory table after trip' Hospital system CEO resigns from Ontario COVID-19 advisory table after trip
Hospital system CEO resigns from Ontario COVID-19 advisory table after trip – Jan 6, 2021

Berman is the latest high profile figure to admit to travelling overseas while most Canadians hunkered down under health orders that saw them cancel traditional family gatherings.

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Read more: Ontario finance minister resigns after highly criticized Caribbean vacation

Neither the federal nor provincial government has banned travel, but both have strongly advised against it.

Click to play video 'Victoria councillor Shamarke Dubow apologizes for overseas travel' Victoria councillor Shamarke Dubow apologizes for overseas travel
Victoria councillor Shamarke Dubow apologizes for overseas travel – Jan 6, 2021

Earlier this week, Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow apologized for a trip to Somalia during the holidays.

Outside of B.C., international travel has resulted in demotions for multiple provincial and federal politicians.

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips resigned his post after it was revealed he’d flown to St. Barts in the Caribbean.

Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs Tracy Allard was also removed from her post over a Hawaiian vacation, while multiple other United Conservative Party MLAs and staffers also faced demotions or were asked to resign.

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