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Tougher travel restrictions ‘on the table’ as B.C. extends state of emergency

The B.C. government has once again extended its state of emergency as officials contemplate imposing tougher COVID-19 restrictions on the province.
Horgan
Premier Horgan said the province is weighing the tightening of travel restrictions amid elevated daily caseloads of COVID-19 - BC GOVERNMENT

The B.C. government has once again extended its state of emergency as officials contemplate imposing tougher COVID-19 restrictions on the province.

Premier John Horgan said the provincial cabinet will weigh travel restrictions Wednesday in talks that will examine bookings at hotels, bed and breakfasts and camping sites. 

The deliberations come as health officials reported another 873 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, with the caveat a delay in a public health reporting system may ultimately change those numbers.

Horgan said he spoke to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney on Monday about the pandemic and their mutual concerns about travel between the provinces and the consequences that is having on case counts. 

The premier said he is troubled by the recent COVID-19 case counts in B.C. and is looking to Thursday's release of information for a better sense of where the province stands.

In a written statement announcing the extension of the provincial state of emergency, Port Coquitlam MLA and public safety minister Mike Farnworth said “If people want to get back to travelling, gathering and doing all those things we've been missing for so long, we all have to follow the orders and guidance.”

He added: “For those who just can't seem to get that message, enforcement measures will continue to ensure public safety.”

Between Aug. 21, 2020, and March 26, 2021, breaches of public health orders have led police and other enforcement officers to issue 1,709 violation tickets, totalling $1,067,890, said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General in a press release. 

—With files from the Canadian Press