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The Road To Recovery - Provincial Travel Restrictions

Fraser River near Rudy Johnson Bridge | John Wellburn

Province Introduces Travel Restrictions to Curb Spread of COVID-19

To help keep communities safe and protect British Columbia’s health-care system from COVID-19, the Province is introducing travel restrictions that limit non-essential travel in B.C.

On the advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO), Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, has issued a new order using the extraordinary powers of the Emergency Program Act to prohibit non-essential travel between three regional zones in the province, using health authority boundaries. The regional zones are:

  1. Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Coastal Health regions);
  2. Vancouver Island (Island Health region); 
  3. Northern/Interior (Northern Health and Interior Health, including Bella Coola Valley, the Central Coast and Hope). 
    • Residents from the Hope area can travel to Chilliwack for essential goods and supplies
    • Residents from the Bella Coola Valley and Central Coast area can travel to Port Hardy for essential goods and supplies

While the order puts legal limits only on travel between regional health zones, the PHO’s guidance remains unchanged throughout B.C.: everyone is recommended to stay within their local community unless for essential travel.

This order will be in effect from April 23 through May 25, 2021, (after the May long weekend). It applies to everyone in the province, including non-essential travellers from outside the province.

Businesses are not expected to enforce restrictions, they have a key role in informing the travelling public and making people aware, especially before they make their reservations.

Full press release here.  

Tourism Industry Travel Restrictions Toolkit

This toolkit has a number of sections designed to help tourism operators navigate the current travel restrictions in place in British Columbia. It includes:
  • Key Messages
  • Excerpts from the tourism sector’s joint statement with Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport
  • Recommended Actions for Operators
  • Questions and Answers

The provincial government restrictions are available online at

The news release announcing the restrictions and exemptions is available .