As the May long weekend approaches, all South Okanagan municipalities have come together to discourage non-essential travel.
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) including the City of Penticton, Town of Oliver, Town of Osoyoos, District of Summerland, Village of Keremeos and the Town of Princeton are asking visitors to follow current provincial health directives and avoid travelling at this time.
Many South Okanagan communities, the RDOS explained, have been inundated with visitors which they say puts health care professionals, first responders and citizens at risk.
“With the influx of visitors, any medical issues due to COVID-19 will also put our small rural hospitals and health care facilities over capacity, and unable to serve both visitors and residents,” reads a message by RDOS chair Karla Kozakevich, May 1.
Normally at this time, communities would be welcoming thousands of visitors from across B.C. and Alberta for tourism and recreation. However, due to COVID-19, the RDOS is asking visitors to follow provincial health directives and temporarily avoid non-essential travel.
“Together, we can do our part to protect vulnerable people from COVID-19,” reads the message. “Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. We look forward to seeing you again soon, under more favourable circumstances.”