B.C. and Alberta issue joint statement discouraging weekend travel

Health officials for B.C. and Alberta have issued a joint statement to residents ahead of the long weekend, urging travellers not to cross the border between the two provinces.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and his Alberta counterpart, Tyler Shandro, say they realize the long weekend is usually a time to visit friends and family in other provinces. But they are asking people to stay home instead.

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“This long weekend is different. These are extraordinary times. A global pandemic puts us all at risk – and we all must stay home, stay in our communities and stay at a safe physical distance from others when outside,” Dix and Shandro said in a joint statement issued Thursday.

“Let us be clear: Staying home means no travelling – especially across our borders. Instead, we encourage everyone to find ways to connect virtually this long weekend, including by video chat or with phone calls.”

The pair of ministers thanked residents and faith leaders who have found innovative ways to virtually mark Passover, Easter and Ramadan with their congregants.

They urge residents not to travel to protect loved ones, elders, and health care workers.

“Now, more than ever, we need you to keep it up,” they said.

Meanwhile, some mayors of resort towns are not rolling out the welcome mats for residents and tourists this weekend.

Invermere Mayor Al Miller said that now is not the right time to be travelling or spending the weekend at a vacation home, while Canmore Mayor John Borrowman said the community is still discouraging its neighbours from visiting the area.

- With files from The Canadian Press

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