Non-essential travel is prohibited in B.C. for at least two weeks, according to Premier John Horgan. He said he has reached out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an effort to establish messaging against non-essential travel on a federal level.
“We need to stay in our tight social circles. This is critically important at this point in the mandates and this point in the pandemic,” Horgan said.
Horgan said a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travellers to Vancouver Island is being discussed and a decision will be made by Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer and Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s chief medical health officer. The premier said he does not believe a mandatory quarantine is the best way forward, but the decision is left to the two doctors.
Horgan said he is optimistic about recent vaccine breakthroughs, but British Columbians still need to be vigilant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 before a vaccine can be distributed.
“We can see the finish line, we can see some hope at the end of what has been a very very, difficult tunnel, but we cannot lose our resolve now. We have to redouble our efforts to protect each other and our province going forward,” he said.
A vaccine is expected to be ready early next year for the novel coronavirus. Pfizer and BioNTech said they plan to submit a request within days to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization of the vaccine. The companies said the data also will be submitted to other regulatory agencies around the world.
Based on current projections, Pfizer says it expects to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses this year and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.
Another vaccine, from biotech company Moderna, is also in late stages of development. The company said it expects to be able to deliver approximately 500 million doses per year. Starting next year, this number could be up to 1 billion doses per year.