Adrian Dix, Minister of Health for British Columbia, and Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health for Alberta both issued a joint statement before the long weekend, imploring residents to stay in their home province to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Albertans and British Columbians have deep and historic ties. Many of us have family and friends on both sides of the border and enjoy visiting each other’s province. A typical long weekend is something we look forward to throughout the year. It’s a chance to spend a little extra time with our loved ones, often in gatherings or on trips out of town,” begins the joint statement from the ministers.

“This long weekend is different. These are extraordinary times. A global pandemic puts us all at risk – and we all must stay home, stay in our communities and stay at a safe physical distance from others when outside.”

The ministers said that spending a holiday away from people we care about is difficult, but that everything the public does matters to slow the spread of the virus.

“Let us be clear: Staying home means no travelling – especially across our borders,” said the ministers. “Instead, we encourage everyone to find ways to connect virtually this long weekend, including by video chat or with phone calls.”

“Please continue to make every effort to protect loved ones, our elders and our health-care workers. Now, more than ever, we need you to keep it up.”

The two health ministers thanked everyone for doing their part, including a special thanks to faith leaders who are finding innovative ways to celebrate Easter, Passover, and Ramadan with their congregations.