A CBSA officer checks vehicles entering into Canada at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. New restrictions in effect at midnight Friday along Canada’s shared border with the United States focus more on blocking tourists and bargain-hunters than on clearing the way for so-called “essential” travel such as truckers hauling freight, health professionals and others who live on one side and work on the other. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

1,700 people returned to B.C. over Easter weekend, most had quarantine plans: Henry

Dr. Bonnie Henry said 13 people needed accommodations and 207 required follow-up

Just over 1,700 travellers have returned to B.C. since Friday (April 10), according to Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The provincial health officer said Monday (April 13) that 1,701 travellers had returned over the Easter long weekend. The majority of those had proper isolation plans, Henry said, while 207 required follow-up and 13 needed accommodations.

This comes after B.C. began enforcing 14-day self-isolation requirements on Wednesday (April 8). Canada had shut its borders to non-U.S. travel on March 16 and then shut the American border to non-essential travel on March 21 as part of an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Trade, as well as essential workers, were not affected by the travel ban.

“We’re very happy with the work that’s happened at border, at land borders and at airports,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

“We’re hopeful that will be followed up by jurisdictions all over the country because people who return to British Columbia often do so through Toronto and Montreal.”

The health minister had shown frustration prior with what the province believed was a lack of enforcement of quarantine requirements, which the feds made mandatory on March 25.

While the Canada Border Services Agency was not able to provide figures for the B.C. – Washington State border, the agency said both air travel and non-essential border crossing traffic have dipped by more than 90 per cent compared to the year before.

As of Monday, B.C. has recorded 1,490 total cases of COVID-19, with 905 people having recovered, and 69 total deaths.

READ MORE: B.C.’s COVID-19 case total up by 45 after Easter weekend

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

READ MORE: As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic


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