Horgan: 'We can't prevent people from travelling to British Columbia'

BC won't be banning visitors

Premier John Horgan says B.C. is unable to place restrictions on interprovincial travel.

In a statement Thursday evening, Horgan said a review of the province’s legal options “made it clear we can't prevent people from travelling to British Columbia.”

The premier said the government has the power to restrict non-essential travellers if they are causing harm to the health and safety of British Columbians, but much of current interprovincial travel is work related and cannot be banned.

“Public health officials tell us what is most important is for everyone to obey health orders, wherever they are, rather than imposing mobility rules. Therefore, we will not be imposing travel restrictions at this time,” Horgan said.

The statement comes after Horgan said during a press conference earlier this month that the government would consider its options in response to feedback from the public.

"We've heard from many people who are worried travel from outside B.C. has contributed to the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

Horgan left the door open to “stronger restrictions” on non-essential travellers should transmission increase because of them. He pledged to work with the tourism and hospitality sectors “to make sure all possible safety precautions are in place.”

Horgan said the Prime Minister is considering further international travel restrictions, “and B.C. stands ready to assist." Meanwhile, he urged potential B.C. visitors to stay away.

“We ask all British Columbians to stay close to home while vaccines become available. And to all Canadians outside of B.C., we look forward to your visit to our beautiful province when we can welcome you safely."

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