British Columbia

B.C. to hand border screening measures back to federal government

The B.C. government says it will transition its enhanced border checks due to COVID-19 back to the federal government, beginning Saturday.

142 people housed for quarantine by the province since screening began

A traveller has her temperature checked at Vancouver International Airport on June 18, 2020. (YVR)

The B.C. government says it will transition its enhanced border checks due to COVID-19 back to the federal government, beginning Saturday.

In March, Ottawa enacted the federal Quarantine Act that enhanced screening measures to ensure people returning from international destinations could provide, in detail, plans of their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

In early April, B.C. came up with its own plan to screen travellers from abroad and enforce, at the point of entry, the federal self-isolation order. It put out a call to civil servants and came up with nearly 1,000 volunteers.

"The evolution of federally led border measures has allowed the B.C. public service to step back from border screenings and redeploy our resources to best limit the spread of COVID-19 in British Columbia," said Mike Farnworth, the minister of public safety and solicitor general.

Premier John Horgan said the province deeply appreciates the service of those who stepped up.

"Much credit goes to the hundreds of B.C. public service employees who raised their hands to make sure those arriving home do so safely — both for themselves and for all of us working to keep COVID-19 at bay," he said .

B.C. processed more than 72,000 passengers arriving at Vancouver International Airport or at land border crossings between April 10 and June 15, 2020.

Since the screening began, the province has housed 142 people in government funded accommodations for the 14-day quarantine period or until their self-isolation plans were deemed acceptable. 

Service B.C. will continue compliance and wellness checks to ensure travellers are effectively maintaining their 14-day self-isolation.

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