B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)

Princeton-area cabin owners consider defying travel ban

“I’m planning to go up. If anyone doesn’t like it I invite them to stay out of my yard.”

It remains to be seen how effective a new provincial health order forbidding non-essential travel will be in stopping the spread of COVID.

The order went into place Friday, April 23, and will continue until May 25.

Related: 96 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Travel between three areas of the province, based on health authority regions, is restricted and violations could result in a fine of $575.

Further, abusive or belligerent behaviour related to the order is punishable by a $230 ticket.

“Our objective is still seeking voluntary compliance and education,” said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes in an interview with the Spotlight.

Tickets here may be issued “if certain conditions are met,” he added.

In the Princeton area specifically, there will be no road side checks at this time, however Hughes said “that could change at any minute.”

People may travel between the Interior Health Authority and the Northern Health Authority, but the order effectively blocks travel from the Lower Mainland to the Similkameen.

Related: B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

The move has created consternation and considerable debate among some people who live outside the area but have seasonal homes in rural Princeton and Tulameen.

In answer to a question from the Spotlight posted to a public Facebook group, Tony Cook wrote: “I’m planning to go up. If anyone doesn’t like it I invite them to stay out of my yard.”

Andrea Derkoch Smyrski is also planning to visit her property. “We are coming. We need to care (for) and maintain our place. But like all before us we will stick to our place and bring all of our stuff with us. We are not coming to party. I would not call it a vacation either. We will keep you safe Tulameen, by doing our part.”

Victoria Anderson Manz feels she can make her own choices. “I don’t make any stops, bring with me what I need. If people in town pop over while I’m there, I’m happy to see them. Three of my family members are tested weekly for their jobs. I’m safe. I’m an adult, I’m a reasonable person who can make a call on whether I need to stay home.”

Only an emergency would tempt Sharen Rogers to travel. “(We) will abide by the rules – will only visit the cabin prior to May 24 (for now) unless we are subject to flooding.”

Tami Rose hopes those with rental properties have cancelled reservations. “It’s one thing as a homeowner to come up, stay in your yard and do maintenance, but hopefully any cabin owners that had rentals booked for the next five weeks have cancelled them. Unfortunately it’s those rental people that might disrespect the rules more so than regulars here.”

Hughes acknowledged the Facebook comments. “Any perusal of social media shows there is a core group of people who refuse to abide by the rules. If you choose to be one of those people you may be subject to a $575 fine.”

Related: ‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

Area H director Bob Coyne is keeping an eye on the situation, but admits he has no control.

“If people want to disregard provincial health orders and the premier that’s way above my pay grade,” he said.

“Some people are following the orders of Dr. Bonnie Henry and others aren’t…I think people are tired and they just don’t know how to deal with it anymore. They are reacting differently than they possibly would have in normal times.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com


 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Quinn, left, and Adrian Van de Mosselaer are going through UBCO’s nursing program together after Quinn encouraged his brother to go back to school. (UBC Okanagan/Contributed)
UBC Okanagan student transitions from professional hockey to nursing

Adrian Van de Mosselaer credits his younger brother for the push to get him back to learning

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)
More than 40% of Central Okanagan residents have received 1st vaccine dose

Local clinics have administered 81,247 first doses to Central Okanagan residents

A GoFundMe page has been launched to alleviate the financial burden for “Captain” Kelly, a former Peachland School District bus driver who was recently diagnosed with stage three lung and lymphatic cancer. (GoFundMe.com)
Fundraiser launched for former Peachland school bus driver diagnosed with cancer

“Captain” Kelly was recently diagnosed with stage three lung and lymphatic cancer

Brenda Ware. (RCMP)
Murder charge laid against man in Kootenay National Park homicide

Philip Toner was located in Lake Country on May 11

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Vernon’s Tanya Wick, human resources VP at Tolko Industries Ltd., has been named the 2021 HR Professional of the Year by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon. (CPHR BC & Yukon photo)
Okanagan resident gets top provincial award for HR excellence

Tolko’s Tanya Wick has earned the title of 2021 HR Professional of the Year

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The City of Vernon is taking a close look at six high-priority Okanagan Lake access points, including three sites along Tronson Road (pictured above) in May 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon council looking closely at Okanagan Lake access points

Six access points have been identified as ideal for recreation

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Police working to identify the two bodies found in South Okanagan

The area will see higher police presence ahead of a forensic examination

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Most Read