Travel restrictions have been announced recently for BC and it didn’t take long for a great deal of public backlash to ensue. Not only that, but the BC Civil Liberties Association has also raised concerns, over the negative impact that might result from an order that would restrict travel and impose random checkpoints to make sure people were only out for essential reasons.
There is concern that it might impact some groups disproportionately and give new powers to authorities that could be abused and mean a less safe community for those in BC.
The RCMP Union even expressed that they too had concerns and how those new restrictions might be implemented.
BC authorities said that they had been working with BC Parks and tourism agencies etc to try and navigate cancelling out of town guests and to prioritize British Columbians staying in campgrounds etc, but that has caused some confusion. One BC Parks Contractor has sought a clarification on the restrictions after having to cancel some campers over these new concerns.
Alberta reportedly respects the decision that BC might want to make in putting signs up and reducing travel with certain COVID-19 related travel restrictions this spring, but there is a lot of confusion about how they are going to be implemented. As well, there is confusion over what constitutes essential travel, and from students to seniors many in the public are looking for more answers on what they can or cannot do.
Public Safety Minister Promises No Roadblocks Between Vancouver and Burnaby
The BC Public Safety Minister has promised that there will be no roadblocks coming between Vancouver and Burnaby, and we don’t have to worry about those random road checks to take place in such a manner. But what about other areas? We still might see some road blocks that look like drunk driving road blocks near popular tourist places like ferry terminals and other areas.
The safety minister has suggested that you won’t see these set up in places like Burnaby or Tri-Cities, but to expect them near ferry terminals.
There might be some periodic road blocks that you will see in other parts of BC, but no individual stops are reportedly planned. They are looking to use these actions to try and discourage leisure travel and non-essential travel at this time.
Not only have some suggested that it would be an logistical nightmare for authorities to enforce but it also further exposes front line workers to further risk and possible infection. A comprehensive list for those in BC of what is or isn’t essential travel is expected to be released soon.
Authorities in BC are still encouraging people to look for their nearest parks and beaches, and to explore their own communities at this time and not travel too far. BC is still dealing with an increase in COVID-19 cases, as well as other areas of Canada, and they especially want to limit travel from one province to another, and have urged people to stay in their own health authority communities.
BC business owners are trying to navigate the increasing restrictions, on indoor dining and other measures, and it might mean that many more are going to go out of business.
It has been very difficult for them to try and survive through this pandemic and now they are dealing with even more difficulty with these new restrictions, understandably frustrated about when they might expect to see a new normal or things to get easier for them.
Many hotels and cafes are going to be struggling this spring and summer if these restrictions continue.
Small businesses all around the lower mainland that also cater to those businesses in the tourism industry are also feeling the pain. While feelings are mixed on whether to lock down or not, many seem ready and willing to sacrifice for a few more weeks if it means having a good summer.
More on those BC travel restrictions is expected to be announced soon, as well as more information about essential and non-essential travel. These travel restrictions are expected to continue for several weeks at least until May long weekend. From there we will have to see if they get extended as many other COVID-19 changes have been, or if we take a turn and go in another direction.