'Don't come': B.C. health officials urge Americans to stay away
VICTORIA -- In one of the most stark and serious moves taken yet by the B.C. government, the provincial health minister is urging American travellers to stay away.
In a press conference from the B.C. legislature Monday, Health Minister Adrian Dix urged U.S. citizens to refrain from crossing the border into B.C.
"It's our strong view, and our strong message, that visitors from the United States not come to British Columbia," Dix said. "Don't come."
His comments came just moments after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau banned all non-Canadian residents from entering the country, but did allow a caveat for American travellers.
"We remain concerned that access to visitors from the United States continues to be allowed," Dix said in response to Trudeau's comments on American travel.
The province is also particularly concerned that Americans from the Seattle area, where there has been a large outbreak of COVID-19 cases, are able to easily cross into B.C.
Victoria’s direct link to downtown Seattle, the Victoria Clipper passenger ferry, is already reacting to the announcement.
Clipper CEO David Gudgel tells CTV News that the operation had planned to cancel sailings on Tuesday and Wednesday this week because of declining ridership, but now new considerations are being made.
"We are reacting in real time," said Gudgel. "We will have to consider that and whether or not it’s viable to continue to operate the service."
CTV News has reached out to the operator of the Coho ferry, which crosses between Victoria and Port Angeles, Wash.
The Coho has no plans to cancel operations, but says it might not increase sailings for its normal summer schedule.