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Quarantine on Vancouver Island not ruled out by Premier Horgan

B.C. Premier John Horgan says he’s waiting for word from provincial health officials, about a proposed 14-day quarantine for visitors to Vancouver Island.

During a media briefing today, Horgan responded to Island chief medical health officer Dr. Richard Stanwick’s suggestion.

This comes amid a rise in COVID-19 cases on the island, with 57 new ones since Friday.

“He (Stanwick) has put this forward,” Horgan said. “He and his colleagues, (provincial health officer) Dr. (Bonnie) Henry and others across the province are looking at that and I’ll await a final determination from public health on how to proceed.”

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Horgan stopped short of endorsing Stanwick’s suggestion of turning the island into a bubble.

“My view is that a quarantine may not be the best way forward. What I do know is, people on Vancouver Island are quite proud of the low case rate up until the past couple of weeks and I know that British Columbians and Vancouver Islanders want to get that curb bent,” he added.

He added, “But I don’t know that Dr. Stanwick’s suggestion… we didn’t get into a lot of detail with Dr. Henry this morning but I’ll leave it to her, and he, to figure out what they believe is the best way forward. Non-essential travel should not be happening in British Columbia.”

He also touched on ferry passengers being allowed to leave their vehicles on enclosed ferry decks.

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Horgan said Transport Canada was premature in taking away the exemption that BC Ferries sought and was granted during the middle of the pandemic.

“We are not out of the woods yet and I will when I talk to the prime minister about a pan-Canadian approach to travel within Canada, we’ll talk again about Transport Canada’s edict, here,” Horgan said.

“I believe that BC Ferries can come up with strategies to keep people safe. That would mean having more BC Ferries employees on the car deck in the event that there is a requirement to evacuate.”

Horgan said that why an exemption wouldn’t be granted now as we see a second wave building in B.C., “is a mystery to me.”

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