Based on spring traffic counts near Revelstoke, the province said it appears people were following advice to stay home.
According to data from the Ministry of Transportation, traffic along Highway 1 near Revelstoke was reduced by 40 per cent for April and 23 per cent for May compared to 2019.
Easter traffic was also down by 60 per cent this year and Victoria Day traffic by 38 per cent.
The data was collected at a counting station 30 kilometres west of Revelstoke at the Enchanted Forest.
During Phase 1 and 2, the province urged people to avoid non-essential travel to help stop the spread of COVID-19. On June 30, B.C. entered Phase 3 of its restart plan to reopen, which allows travel and tourism within B.C.
“We want British Columbians who feel comfortable to have the confidence to travel and explore within B.C. this summer — but we must do it in a way that protects the communities we’re going to visit,” said the Ministry of Transportation to Black Press in an email.
The province still urges people to stay home if they’re ill, continue to physical distance and avoid crowds.
“We can still have fun this summer, and get out and enjoy B.C., but we must be thoughtful and respectful in our travels.”
The federal government issued a new order June 30 extending restrictions prohibiting international travellers at all points of entry into Canada.
The restrictions have been in place since mid-March.
The current ban on non-essential travel regarding the U.S.-Canada border is set to expire on July 21, but can also be extended.
Cross-border traffic has plunged. According to data obtained by Postmedia, between June 15 and June 21 under 200,000 people entered Canada by land from the United States. The majority of traffic were truck drivers.
Over the same period in 2019, more than 1.2 million people came to Canada through a land crossing from the U.S.
According to Telus Insight population data for Revelstoke, roughly 34,000 Americans visited Revelstoke during July in 2018. They represented almost seven per cent of all visitors that month.
By comparison, more than 350,000 visitors came from B.C. and Alberta.
The U.S. is still adding 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 daily.
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