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MEDIA RELEASE April 8, 2020

Regional EOC Advises Tourists and Part-time Residents to Postpone Holiday Travel

qathet Regional District, B.C. – The Regional Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is appealing to tourists and part-time residents with second homes and vacation homes to avoid travelling to the qathet Regional District, City of Powell River, and Tla’amin Nation for the upcoming holidays.

On Tuesday, April 7, Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry stated, “This is also a time … when many people will be thinking of travelling and going to perhaps holiday homes or smaller communities around the province and I’m really imploring people this is not our time to do that, right now. We need to avoid all non-essential travel and it’s important that we don’t go to communities where we might not have the resources to support us if we become sick or if there is a medical emergency. So, now is the time to stay home, to stay connected with our family, to stay connected virtually”. Health Minister Adrian Dix reiterated those comments by saying, “This weekend … the weather is maybe the best weather of the year we have, but this is not the weekend to travel to second homes and to cottages. Let’s enjoy, as much as we can under these circumstances what we have here … let’s enjoy them without travelling, that there be no non-essential travel; we certainly would actively discourage it”.

We are an isolated region with a substantial vulnerable population. Our community, like many coastal towns, has limited health resources and our residents are at a high risk should they be exposed. Our businesses and local services are reduced to minimal levels, BC Ferries has reduced services, and our community is helping to plank the curve with physical distancing. The water taxis and barge operators servicing our islands are restricting travel to the transport of residents and essential goods and services. Please avoid non-essential trips and remain in your home community.

We understand the desire to leave large urban centres for your vacation homes to physically distance yourself and your families, however this puts our community at significant risk. Please consider your neighbours and postpone your travel plans to our region until further notice. Like you, we love exploring our region, but now is not the time to come. We must all do our part to protect communities at high risk. Please follow the advice of health authorities so that we can all enjoy the Sunshine Coast, Tla’amin lands and islands together again. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 please visit qathet.ca.

CONTACT:
Ryan Thoms,
Manager of Emergency Services
105, 4675 Marine Avenue
Powell River, BC V8A 2L2
(604) 485-2260
rthoms@qathet.ca

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