Land border crossing at Blaine, WA is traditionally one of B.C.’s busiest. (Black Press Media files)

B.C. hands COVID-19 border crossing checks back to Ottawa

Provincial screening continues for arriving farm workers

The federal government’s COVID-19 quarantine measures for people arriving from the U.S. and other countries have improved to the point where provincial employees are ending their own border checks as of Saturday, June 20, Premier John Horgan says.

In the early days of the pandemic response in mid-March, Horgan was the first premier to call on Ottawa to “up their game” at border entry points after B.C. health officials began detecting infections from people arriving from the U.S. On April 8, B.C. implemented its own checks at Vancouver International Airport and U.S. land crossings to enforce the federal Quarantine Act requirement for new and returning residents to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

Hundreds of provincial staff were assigned to obtain and review written plans, and to direct those without adequate self-isolation preparations to designated facilities. By June 15, 142 people had been housed by the province until they had their preparations made, out of 72,400 passengers checked at YVR and 17 land border entry points to B.C. International flights into Victoria and Kelowna airports were redirected to YVR as of April 9 to include those arrivals in the screening.

MARCH 16: B.C. blasts decision to leave U.S. border open in pandemic

APRIL 8: B.C. imposes quarantine requirements at border crossings

On June 19, Horgan and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth praised the federal government’s improvements in quarantine notification for arrivals, with documented self-isolation plans and a smartphone app that has since been introduced for travellers.

“The evolution of federally led border measures has allowed the B.C. public service to step back from border screenings to best limit the spread of COVID-19 in British Columbia,” Farnworth said.

Temporary foreign workers entering B.C. for seasonal agriculture jobs will continue to be monitored by provincial public health staff, including 14-day isolation before travelling to farms and follow-up phone calls by Service B.C. staff, the province said in its June 19 statement.


@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

Haida Nation reminds ‘select few’ fishing lodges that Haida Gwaii is closed to non-essential travel

‘Upholding Haida law amid COVID-19’ release comes one day before Queen Charlotte Lodge plans to reopen

PHOTOS: ‘Phengnominal’ gnome house constructed in Port Clements

‘Ms. Gnomer’s Home 4 Wayward Folk,’ created by Kelly Whitney-Gould, a hit for kids and loggers alike

Councillor resigns mid-term in Queen Charlotte

Richard Decembrini’s resignation announced at regular meeting on July 6

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Three projects on the North Coast awarded funding

Skidegate band members donate 400 pounds of salmonberries

More than 45 band members participated in first-ever Salmonberry Picking Contest on June 28

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Most Read