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

Donated sculpture in Sidney’s Beacon Park a testament to perseverance

Victoria artist Armando Barbon picked up sculpting 22 years ago

Greater Victoria businesses come together to help Island kids

Langford Lowe’s raises funds for youth mental health all month

Sidney builds community resilience through neighbourhood gatherings

Meet Your Street needs residents to create gatherings, safe interactions

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Saanich for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read