Towns and municipal districts near provincial boundaries are asking campers and second-home owners to stay away this Easter weekend because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the East Kootenays, an area in British Columbia that includes Invermere, Golden and Radium Hot Springs, the district's board of directors has asked the provincial health officer to close the provincial boundary with Alberta.

Officials are concerned the area's small rural hospitals cannot handle additional people.

Health ministers in Alberta and B.C. stopped short of closing the roads, but they issued a joint statement Thursday morning saying no one should consider a cross-boundary visit during the pandemic.

Similar concerns are being raised in Kenora, Ont., where the mayor wants all non-essential travel into his community from Manitoba to be stopped.

Dan Renard says it's difficult to ask its summer residents and visitors to stay away, but he says the health-care system simply doesn't have the capacity to meet the needs of a growing population.

He has asked the Ontario government for the boundary between Ontario and Manitoba to be closed.

Checkpoints are already in place on the Manitoba side of the boundary, but no one from Ontario is being denied entry.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 9, 2020

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