Site-specific road checks to be used for enforcement of new COVID-19 rules

ICBC roadcheck

More details have been released on B.C.'s travel rules meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the province.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said Friday morning site-specific road checks would be used to enforce the travel restrictions.

"I would like to take a moment to recognize and thank the vast majority of British Columbians who are doing their part," Farnworth said.

The rules, which were first announced last Friday, will be in place through the May long weekend. Those caught travelling for non-essential reasons outside one of three zones can be fined $575. 

When he announced the rules last week, Farnworth explained the Northern and Interior health authorities would be considered a combined region. The same is the case for Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions.

The road checks will be on travel corridors between regions. The road checks may be put in place at any time until the order is lifted at 12:01 a.m. on May 25, 2021.

"You will not see road checks in downtown Vancouver or along Boundary Road," Farnworth said. "Once stopped at a road check, drivers may be asked to provide a driver's name, address and driver's licence … and the reason for driver's travel."

Farnworth said documentation regarding travel will not be required. Passengers in the vehicle also won't be required to provide information.

If police "have reasonable grounds" to believe the driver is leaving the regional zone for non-essential purposes they can direct the driver to stay in their region or leave the region at that time. Those who don't follow the requirements at a road check may result in a $230 fine. Violating the order is a $575 fine.

For all regions, people can travel within the area, but not outside of them. As well, essential travel like going to work, going to school, returning to a principal residence and getting health care is exempt from these rules.

Two new reasons for essential travel were announced Friday: for the purpose of avoiding risk of abuse or violence and to expand who can visit long-term care or assisted living facilities.


with files from CTV News