British Columbia Expands Travel Restrictions, Leaving Travel Industry Concerned –

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British Columbia Expands Travel Restrictions, Leaving Travel Industry Concerned – fr


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The B.C. provincial government on Tuesday announced that some COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed as part of a four-stage reopening plan, but it will be at least mid-June before restrictions preventing non-essential trips are waived.

The plan to reopen began on Tuesday with relaxations at gatherings, sporting events and dining, indoors and out.

The first travel restrictions could be lifted on June 15, with leisure travel only allowed in resident areas.

Travel is restricted in areas covered by health authorities on the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal; the health authorities of the North and the Interior; and Vancouver Island. Residents are urged to stay in their area or risk a fine of $ 575 if they have no valid reason to travel.

In many mountain resort towns across the province, the past year has been incredibly difficult – first dealing with the lack of international visits, then interprovincial guests, and now visitors from across the province.

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In Radium, Alpen Motel staff said the current restrictions meant they had virtually no guests and hadn’t been for some time. At Radium Park Lodge, where about 75% of summer customers come from Alberta, Brian Liu said the ad was of concern to businesses, but health was their top priority.

“We still have government grants and we can rebuild the economy, but we cannot replace lives,” he said. “So if there are three weeks left, we have already abandoned our operations in the last year, so I think we can wait another three weeks. “

On the Alberta side of the Rockies, tourism to Banff has also been hit hard. Now, with three more weeks without visitors from British Columbia, that’s a growing concern.

Leslie Bruce, CEO of Banff and Lake Louise Tourism (BLLT), said that while it is disappointing to hear about the extended travel restrictions in British Columbia, the organization and its industry partners are poised for the relaxations.

“It will be a big challenge for us,” said Bruce.

“Usually the long weekend in May is the kick-off to summer and so you see people who usually have these short mini-getaways and get ready. But also, very important thing, Canadians have generally made their travel plans before (now) and so with these additional extensions and restrictions, it creates a lot more uncertainty in the mix when it comes to planning their vacations.

She said they hope they have more optimism than at this time last year, but the ever-changing restrictions mean the tourism industry in the region is in jeopardy this summer.

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Even the number of Albertans visiting national parks has declined during this third wave of COVID-19 and the restrictions that come with it, Bruce said.

“It was really calm. . . People take this very seriously and we have certainly seen very little travel to the destination, but we see camping still very popular and I think it is because people feel safe and they are agreement to do so, ”she said. adding that in a recent survey, BLLT found that most Albertans had visited the destination five times in the past year.

“We’re extremely grateful for that (but) the sustaining model is different, the buying models are different, and so after 15-16 months we’re really looking forward to welcoming people from other parts of the country, because they tend to stay longer, which has a greater impact on the economy. “

Premier John Horgan said B.C.’s high immunization rate is allowing the province to slowly bring people together, with September 7 being a target date for the final phase of the plan to be implemented.

– With files from the Canadian Press

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Twitter: @oliviacondon

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