Premier John Horgan and Public safety Minister Mike Farnworth announce new emergency measures for COVID-19 pandemic, B.C. legislature, March 26, 2020. (B.C. government)

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

B.C. and federal officials will be checking people’s written self-isolation plans when they enter B.C. at a U.S. land border crossing or at Vancouver International Airport, and if they’re not approved they will go into quarantine for 14 days, Premier John Horgan says.

Horgan announced Wednesday (April 8) that self-isolation forms will be distributed on aircraft and at the borders, as “snowbirds” and international repatriation flights come in. If the plan isn’t acceptable, they will be sent to a designated quarantine facility for 14 days under the powers of the federal Quarantine Act, he said.

Horgan said international flights will no longer be arriving at Victoria and Kelowna airports as of April 9, only Vancouver, which will help intercept people who haven’t been subject to COVID-19 restrictions and may carry on with routine chores as soon as they get into B.C.

Horgan said B.C. had assumed that Ottawa designating four major airports including Vancouver’s meant that U.S. and other international flights would not be coming into other B.C. airports. That has not been the case up to and including an April 8 flight from Seattle to Victoria.

Horgan stressed that he isn’t criticizing Ottawa’s effort, as it attempts to build COVID-19 protection procedures on the fly.

“They’re in the same book, but they’re a page or two behind us,” Horgan said, adding that he expects the federal government to impose similar solutions at Toronto and Montreal airports.

MARCH 16: B.C. blasts Trudeau decision to keep U.S. border open

MARCH 17: CEO says YVR ready to screen international arrivals

Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix have repeatedly called on Ottawa to do a better job notifying and checking international arrivals to B.C. of the need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, after travellers began reporting little or no screening or information on arrival. Horgan first commented publicly on March 13, after a conference call with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and premiers in the early days of Canada’s pandemic response.

Airports and land border crossings are “where we want the federal government to up their game,” Horgan said then, after reports that airport staff were not advising arriving passengers to self-isolate for 14 days.

Dix said April 6 that B.C. was making progress working with the federal government on better screening. He cited April 3 traffic at Vancouver International Airport as an example.

“I think there are nine or so flights from Seattle, from San Francisco, from Los Angeles, including flights that go to Kelowna and Victoria,” Dix said. “Everyone has to self-isolate for 14 days. That’s the rule under the Quarantine Act. The letter of the law has to be felt in practice.”


@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

Douglas fir trees in Salmon Arm face attack from bark beetle

Online pamphlet can help residents learn how to protect their trees

Okanagan film society screening for scholarships

North Okanagan students pursuing creative arts can apply for $2,000 bursaries

North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse cancels box season

COVID-19 wipes out indoor lacrosse; group hopeful outdoor field season will start in August

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

UPDATED: Two sent to hospital by air ambulance following Enderby highway accident

Drivers involved in collision on Highway 97A in Enderby; serious, but not life-threatening injuries

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Power knocked out for 1,700 Lake Country residents

BC Hydro crews on scene to restore the outage

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

Editorial: Help local businesses help keep community safe

COVID-19 requirements impacting cost of doing business

Truck thief runs out of gas in North Okanagan

Pickup stolen from Coldstream, found not far away

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Morning Start: How sleepy is the koala bear?

Your morning start for Monday, May 25, 2020

Most Read