Vancouver Island is increasingly being cut off from the mainland during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Regional District of Nanaimo wants to further self-isolate.
The RDN issued a press release Wednesday “urging all visitors, tourists and residents to avoid discretionary travel in the RDN,” saying directors passed a motion to that effect at a special board meeting Tuesday.
“Travel should be discouraged unless it’s necessary,” said Ian Thorpe, RDN chairman, in the release. “The more we can encourage people to stay home and self-isolate and not go out unless they need to, the better.”
Yesterday, B.C. Ferries asked that travellers avoid all non-essential travel on its vessels.
Over the last two weeks, the Gulf Islands including Gabriola and Mudge have asked visitors to avoid non-essential travel there, and the municipalities of Tofino and Ucluelet have made similar requests.
Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo MLA, said health care workers on Vancouver Island supported the decision earlier this month to shut down international ferry travel from Washington State to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“I’ve heard from health-care practitioners on Vancouver Island saying we think that we are going to be able to weather COVID-19 better than other parts of Canada if we can flatten the curve,” she said.