Want to avoid road checks for non-essential travel in B.C.? Jump on a plane | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Want to avoid road checks for non-essential travel in B.C.? Jump on a plane

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/blog.westjet.com
May 12, 2021 - 7:00 AM

There's a pretty easy way to avoid the periodic RCMP COVID road checks looking for drivers travelling in B.C. for non-essential reasons. You can buy a ticket, board a plane and fly to your destination.

It’s not that travelling from one combined health region to another – such as from the Interior Health/Northern health region to the Fraser Health region or Vancouver Coastal health region – isn’t still a public health order violation. It’s just that nobody’s checking at airports.

“Regional airports fall under federal jurisdiction,” states an email from Emergency Management B.C. to iNFOnews.ca. “However, the provisions of the non-essential travel restriction must still be followed.”

All airports in B.C., even small regional ones, are under the control of the federal government, so health authorities are not able to question passengers on their reason for travelling.

Following the start of the travel ban on April 23, COVID exposures were reported on two flights from Vancouver to Kelowna.

There are also flights to and from Vancouver, and between Penticton and Kamloops.

READ MORE: 7 recent COVID-19 exposures reported on Kelowna flights

Another five recent flights between Kelowna and Calgary had COVID exposures. Travelling between those two cities for recreation or vacation doesn't violate the public health order although Albertans are being discouraged from recreational travel to B.C.

Hotels in B.C. are also discouraging out-of-region tourists from booking rooms but can’t enforce that.

The legal ability of Albertans to visit the Interior and Northern B.C., either by car or air, comes at a time when Alberta continues to have the highest per capita rate of COVID infections in the country.

Alberta is at 305 new cases per day as a rolling average over the past seven days, compared to 86 in B.C.

READ MORE: Can Albertans travel to B.C.? Yes, but with some odd restrictions

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