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Islands Trust Urges People to Stay Home for Victoria Day

As the Victoria Day long weekend approaches, the Island’s Trust is again urging travellers to stay away from the Gulf Islands.

Island’s Trust chair Peter Luckham says there are very limited medical facilities on the islands and the first responders are often volunteers.

Luckham also points out that many people living on the Gulf Islands are 60 years old, or older.

He says there should be no non-essential trips.

BC Ferries is advising people to any avoid non-essential travel on the Victoria Day long weekend.

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The ferry corporation says many of communities that it serves have issued advisories to travellers warning about limited supplies, healthcare equipment, and resources.

These communities include the Gulf Islands, Northern Gulf Islands, and the Sunshine Coast.

After the Easter Long weekend in April, there was widespread anger expressed by Vancouver Island residents following reports of people taking ferries for holiday trips to the Island.

More than two-dozen mayors and regional district chairs gave their support to a letter calling on the province and federal transport ministry to restrict ferry travel on the May long weekend.

The author of that letter, North Cowichan mayor Al Siebring, says it looks unlikely that call will be answered.

Siebring says, “we’ve made our case, we think they should” but adds that any decision to impose greater restrictions on ferry use is in the hands of the provincial government.

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Dr. Bonnie Henry says the gradual re-opening of the economy depends on people continuing to strictly follow provincial health guidelines.

She says a Vancouver dentist conference in early March is a prime example of how easily COVID-19 spreads.

Dr. Henry says they know of at least 87 people in British Columbia “who became positive after attending that conference.”

She says that using genetic testing they know at least two or three people “were ill at that conference who introduced it to that environment.”

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