People have been calling 911 to ask about the province’s new ban on non-essential travel, according to B.C. dispatcher service, E-Comm.
Just hours after the new travel restrictions went into effect Friday (April 23), E-Comm put out a public statement asking people to stop calling emergency operators with travel questions.
“We are receiving calls on 911 from ppl asking about travel restrictions,” E-Comm said in a tweet. “Remember: 911 is for emergencies only.”
“Help us help keep emergency lines free for people who need help from police, fire or ambulance,” the agency said.
We are receiving calls on 911 from ppl asking q's about travel restrictions. Remember: 911 is for emergencies ONLY. #HelpUsHelp keep emergency lines free for ppl who need help from police, fire or ambulance.
— E-Comm 9-1-1 (@EComm911_info) April 23, 2021
Instead, people are being directed to the government’s website, which hosts information about what the order precludes and what is considered essential travel.
Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said non-essential travel between health authority regions is to be restricted until May 25 to curb COVID-19 spread.
Police have been granted the authority to hand out $575 fines for those disobeying the new order. For the purposes of enforcement, Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions are being treated as a single zone.
Remaining zones consist of Vancouver Island as well as Northern and Interior regions.
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