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COVID-19 Updates News
Migrant workers exempt from travel restrictions between B.C. health regions


April 26, 2021
By Greta Chiu

British Columbia has halted non-essential travel between three regional zones in the province.

Announced last Friday, the regional zones are Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Coastal Health regions); Vancouver Island (Island Health region); and Northern/Interior (Interior Health and Northern Health regions).

The order is in effect from April 23 to May 25, 2021.

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“This order applies to non-essential travel. There are circumstances where travel is essential and permissible, such as attending school or work, the commercial transportation of goods, returning to a principal residence, accessing child care, obtaining health care or assisting someone to receive health care,” states a release by the B.C. government.

The Western Agriculture Labour Initiative (WALI) says they have confirmed with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture that temporary foreign workers are exempt these travel restrictions between health regions.

“When traveling from Lower Mainland quarantine hotels to farms on the Island or the Interior, workers will have their work permits to identify themselves as temporary foreign workers. We do not anticipate issues for workers crossing intra-provincial road checks,” says WALI in an emailed release today.

“If no one in the vehicle speaks English well enough to explain the purpose of travel, it would help to have documentation readily available to provide an explanation for travel.”

Those experiencing issues are encouraged to contact WALI.

Additional examples of allowed travel provided by the government of B.C. include:

  • travelling by residents of the local health areas of Bella Coola Valley or Central Coast to Port Hardy to obtain essential goods and supplies;
  • travelling by residents of the local health area of Hope to Chilliwack to obtain essential goods and supplies;
  • travelling by residents of the Nisga’a Health Authority region into the Northern-Interior Health Authority region

More examples are available here.

With files from WALI and Government of B.C.