With cases of the Omicron variant rising, the province is backing up the federal government’s decision to impose a non-essential travel advisory.
Premier John Horgan says it’s not worth the risk.
“I urge British Columbians to follow the federal government’s advice to avoid non-essential travel outside the country,” said Horgan.
“As the highly transmissible Omicron variant spreads worldwide, this is not a time to take chances.”
Adrian Dix, B.C.’s health minister said it’s disappointing news during the holiday season but people should take it seriously.
“It’s pretty straightforward. If it isn’t essential don’t go. This is immensely disappointing and I know many people have been hoping to get a break away from British Columbia at this time of year,” added Dix.
“It’s also important and I think critical to put your health and the health of the community first and that requires taking the advice of the federal government very seriously.”
For those that choose to travel, federal government officials said multiple foreign governments are implementing strict travel restrictions.
This means returning to Canada may become difficult and people could become stuck abroad for an unknown amount of time.
“While this advice undoubtedly disrupts many holiday plans, a fast-changing and unpredictable situation demands we act with caution and prudence,” said Horgan.
“Avoid non-essential travel and follow public health guidelines. Plan your vaccinations and booster shots.”
The B.C. government is also asking residents to avoid travel within Canada if possible.