EPA Order: Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel in B.C.

Last updated: April 23, 2021

Under the Emergency Program Act (EPA), an order restricting non-essential travel between certain regions of the province is in place until Tuesday, May 25 at midnight.

This includes travel for purposes such as:

  • Vacations, weekend getaways and tourism activities
  • Visiting family or friends for social reasons
  • Recreation activities

Scroll down to find information on the following regarding restrictions on travel between regions of the province:

Visit the B.C. Government website for full details on travel and COVID-19, including information regarding entering B.C., Federal entry requirements, leaving B.C. and more.


Travel Regions

The order combines B.C.’s five health authorities into three regions of the province.

Travel into and out of the regions for non-essential reasons is not allowed and is now prohibited by law. The regions are:

  1. Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health)
  2. Northern/Interior (Northern Health and Interior Health, including Bella Coola Valley, the Central Coast and Hope)
  3. Residents from the Hope area can travel to Chilliwack for essential goods and supplies
  4. Residents from the Bella Coola Valley and Central Coast area can travel to Port Hardy for essential goods and supplies
  5. Vancouver Island (Vancouver Island Health)

Find your Health Authority here.


Enforcement

The goal of the order is education and reminding people about travel restrictions.

If the restrictions need to be enforced, police can issue a fine. At the discretion of the police, people not obeying the travel restrictions may be subject to a $575 fine.

The police will not be engaging in random checks. Instead, periodic road checks may be set up at key travel corridors during times associated with leisure travel to remind travellers of the order.

People from outside the province who are travelling to B.C. for non-essential reasons can be subject to the same enforcement measures.


Reasons for Essential Travel

Essential travel between regions is allowed. Essential reasons include:

  • Returning to your principal residence, moving or helping someone move.
  • Work, both paid and unpaid (volunteer).
  • Commercial transportation of goods.
  • Getting health care or social services or helping someone get those services.
  • Court appearance, complying with a court order or parole check-in.
  • Exercising parental responsibilities.
  • Child care services.
  • Attending classes at a post-secondary institution or school.
  • Responding to a critical incident, like search and rescue operations.
  • Providing care to a person because of a psychological, behavioural or health condition, or a physical, cognitive or mental impairment.
  • Visiting a resident (as an essential visitor) at long-term care or assisted living facility.
  • Attending a funeral.
  • Travelling under a PHO variance.


Additional Measures

Additional measures are in place to support the restriction on non-essential travel, including:

  • Increased signage on highways and at border crossings reminding travellers of current restrictions.
  • Hotels and resorts eliminating or cancelling bookings from out-of-area guests.

B.C. Ferries

From April 23 to May 25, BC Ferries will:

  • Ask travellers if their passage is essential. Recreational travellers will be asked not to board vessels headed to a different region
    • If recreational travellers insist on boarding, they will be allowed to board and police will be notified
  • Suspend adding extra sailings during weekends, holidays and peak travel periods
  • Notify all travellers with reservations that the travel order is in place and allow cancellations free of charge

BC Ferries will continue to provide regular service to ensure commercial vehicle traffic and essential travel can be maintained.

Review essential travel information from B.C. Ferries here.

B.C. Parks Reservation

If you have a camping reservation in another region, you can reschedule or cancel for free at any time and get a full refund.