B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth has now issued new travel restrictions for the province, which will be in effect until May 25.
The order, under Emergency Program Act, prohibits non-essential travel between the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Coastal Health regions), Vancouver Island (Island Health region) and Northern/Interior (Interior Health and Northern Health regions).
But what is considered essential travel?
B.C. residents are allowed to travel for the following reasons, which are defined as essential:
- carrying out a work-related purpose, including volunteer work
- moving to a different principal residence or assisting a person to move for that purpose
- commercially transporting goods
- receiving health-care services or social services or assisting someone to receive those services
- attending court
- complying with a court order
- spending parenting time with a minor child
- accessing child care
- attending classes or receiving training at a post-secondary institution or school
- responding to an emergency or a critical incident, including incidents that involve search and rescue operations
- providing care or assistance to a person who requires care or assistance because of a psychological, behavioural, or health condition; or a physical, cognitive or mental impairment
- visiting by an essential visitor as provided in the guidance of the Ministry of Health set out in a document titled Ministry of Health – Overview of Visitors in Long-Term Care and Seniors Assisted Living that was in effect on April 1, 2021
- attending a funeral service
- travelling under the authority of a variance of an order issued by the provincial health officer under the Public Health Act if the variance was made before this section comes into force
- travelling by residents of the local health areas of Bella Coola Valley or Central Coast to Port Hardy to obtain essential goods and supplies
- travelling by residents of the Local Health Area of Hope to Chilliwack to obtain essential goods and supplies
- travelling by residents of the Nisga’a Health Authority region into the Northern-Interior Health Authority region
- returning to one’s own principal residence