B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)

COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

People coming from other provinces for skiing or other non-essential reasons are not increasing B.C.’s COVID-19 risk unless they mingle and party in violation of public health orders on gatherings, Premier John Horgan says.

Asked Wednesday if B.C. is considering following Manitoba’s lead to impose a 14-day quarantine on people entering from other provinces, Horgan said “we can’t and we’re not.” It’s “the logistics, not the legalities,” that rule out border and airport checks similar to those in place for international travel.

“There are four roads in and out of Manitoba,” Horgan said. “We have dozens of roads in and out of British Columbia.”

The other consideration is the actual risk of spreading COVID-19. Using the example of visitors to Whistler, Horgan said people bundled up and skiing are not themselves a risk to others, and Dr. Bonnie Henry’s latest advice on interprovincial travel is that there isn’t evidence that the travel itself is a major problem.

“It’s when people leave the hill and look for the party that we’re seeing transmission,” Horgan said, and that goes for people heading to Whistler from the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island as well as out-of-province visitors.

With legal advice that attempting to ban movement between provinces is unconstitutional, and faced with the impossible task of trying to monitor travel in and out of B.C., Horgan said the best course for him and other premiers is to continue to remind people that this is not the time for non-essential travel, within the province or between them.

RELATED: B.C. ramps up screening for ‘variants of concern’

RELATED: Canada seeks smaller syringes to ration vaccine

If people come into the province and don’t follow the same rules as residents, B.C. law enforcement will “come down on you like a ton of bricks” and the people of B.C. won’t stand for it, he said: “We talk about COVID fatigue, it’s COVID exhaustion, let’s be honest.”

It has been one year since the first active case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in B.C., and more than 1,100 people have died. Horgan was asked if his or Henry’s optimism about controlling the pandemic has diminished. He said the latest news about further delays in vaccine and the emergence of new virus variants has been difficult.

“I’d cut her some slack if she was a bit grumpy on Monday,” he said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lesley Garlow, Indigenous educator at Touchstones Museum of Art and History, with two of many red dresses hanging outside Nelson City Hall as part of the REDress Project by Métis artist Jaime Black. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Red dress exhibit outside Nelson City Hall calls for justice for Indigenous women and girls

The REDress Project has also been installed in Touchstones gallery

The province is adding 144 new child-care spaces to the West Kootenay. File photo
Province adds 144 child-care spaces to West Kootenay

New projects announced for Castlegar, Nakusp, Winlaw and Nelson

Staff at Kootenay Family Place. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Family Place welcomes new leadership

New team replaces long-term executive director

Email editor@interior-news.com
Letter: A call for unity

Castlegar’s Dave Carter says Canadian society is at a dangerous crossroad

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Suspect arrested after armed robbery in downtown Castlegar

Victim was allegedly threatened with knife and bear spray

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 vaccination set to start for B.C. seniors aged 80-plus

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pxhere)
Compensation fund opens for B.C. students negatively affected by incorrect exam marks

Marks for 2019 provincial exams were incorrectly tabulated

The humanoid sensing robot has a 3D printed finger cap that measures oxygen levels. (Dr. Woo Soo Kim)
Medical care robots being made with 3D origami in B.C. lab

Would you let a robot take your temperature?

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent must come first and last for B.C. industrial projects

UN declaration seen as end to a history of horror stories

FILE  - In this Friday, Jan 1, 2021 file photo, a lorry driver's documents are scanned on a phone as he passes a checkpoint for the train through the Eurotunnel link with Europe in Folkestone, England. One month after Britain made a New Year split from the European Union's economic embrace, businesses that once traded freely are getting used to frustrating checks, delays and red tape. Meat exporters say shipments have rotted in trucks awaiting European health checks. Scottish fishermen have protested at Parliament over the catch they can no longer sell to the continent because of byzantine new paperwork. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
FINLAYSON: Government should focus on strengthening B.C.’s leading export industries

To revive the economy, this piece in the strategy is integral, writes Jock Finlayson

Most Read