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Rysz estimated 60 to 70 per cent of the municipality’s economic activity relies on tourism from Alberta.

He said Sicamous would feel the financial pinch, but acknowledged the necessity of those travel guidelines to curb the increasing spread of COVID-19 in the province.

B.C. health officials reported 539 new cases of the virus on Thursday, along with one additional death. There have been 321 COVID-19 related fatalities in B.C.

Hospitalizations increased to 217, with 59 people in intensive care.

There were 6,861 active COVID-19 cases across B.C. on Thursday.

“I absolutely recognize that tourism is important to our communities, to our economy,” Henry said during a news conference.

“The challenge we are facing though is people are coming to B.C. from these other jurisdictions . . . we are asking people who are coming to B.C. in the next two to four weeks, if they can postpone their trip here, they should.”

Those who still intend to visit the province must “be aware that the expectation is that they will follow the orders that we have in place here,” Henry added.

“These orders are enforceable.”

BC communities brace for economic disruption as province discourages travel from other provinces
File photo of B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Photo by DON CRAIG /PNG

A day earlier, B.C. Premier John Horgan called on Prime Minister to implement a national strategy to discourage non-essential travel between provinces.

He said those from other provinces shouldn’t be visiting B.C. unless it’s essential for their business or well-being.

B.C. ski resorts close to the Alberta border expect a much slower winter due to international travel restrictions and provincial guidelines.

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