B.C. rent help continues but border screenings, ban on some evictions to end

VICTORIA—The British Columbia government is extending its temporary rental supplement program to support renters and landlords through the pandemic, while it ends its border screening measures.

The government announced Friday it will also maintain a moratorium on rent increases and evictions for nonpayment of rent, but a ban on evictions for reasons will be lifted later this month.

The rental supplement supports those temporarily laid off during the pandemic, providing $ 500 per month for eligible households with dependants and $ 300 per month for renters without dependants.

The province announced seven new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed on Friday for a total of 2,790, while 2,444 people who tested positive have recovered.

There were no deaths reported Friday. One person has died in the last 13 days, for a total of 168 deaths.

In another move away from pandemic-related restrictions, B.C. says it will end its border screening measures, designed to help residents facing a 14-day isolation period after returning from international travel.

A statement from the province says federal screening measures will continue and Service BC will also conduct wellness checks to ensure travellers are maintaining their self-isolation.

B.C.’s screening measures served as a blueprint for similar federal and provincial programs and the statement says those enhanced federal strategies mean the province can focus on other aspects of infection control.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the hundreds of public servants and B.C. residents who worked at airports and land borders to screen incoming travellers should be proud.

“The evolution of federally led border measures has allowed the B.C. public service to step back from border screenings and redeploy our resources to best limit the spread of COVID-19 in British Columbia,” Farnworth says in the statement.

The government says staff processed more than 72,400 people arriving either at the Vancouver airport or 17 land border crossings between April 10 and June 15, with more than 26,100 followup calls to ensure people were self-isolating.

Of those, 142 travellers didn’t have an adequate self-isolation plan and the province says they were kept in mandatory quarantine for two weeks or until their isolation plan was considered acceptable.

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