VANCOUVER -- Premier John Horgan has issued a special "eggs-emption" for the Easter Bunny to be able to travel freely throughout the province.

Horgan made the announcement on Twitter Wednesday morning and said the bunny was receiving the exemption in order to be able to provide "egg-cellent cheer."

"I am pleased to welcome you to our province for your annual egg-delivering duties," said Horgan in a statement, which included his signature and the provincial coat of arms. "This year, we're all looking out for our loved ones and festivities look quite different. I know that you're also taking extra care, so even if you can't make it to every home, I want to thank you for sharing your positive spirit and happiness with kids and families across the province."

Horgan reiterated his comments at a news conference later in the day, where he told children they could "rest easy" knowing the Easter Bunny would be here on the weekend.


"So no fear. I've got a couple of letters from youngsters concerned that Easter could be disrupted by COVID-19," he said. "I have also a list of suggestions for the Easter Bunny about washing paws, about ensuring that there is some safe physical distancing when eggs are being distributed around British Columbia."

On Tuesday, provincial health officials continued to stress the need for people to practise physical distancing as much as possible to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, even though there are several significant holidays on the horizon, including Easter, Passover, Vaisakhi and Ramadan.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry urged people to avoid church gatherings and even small personal gatherings with people from different households.

"Many of us—millions around the world of many faiths—will be celebrating these major religious holidays. And we'll be celebrating collectively around the world in ways we've never done before in many cases," she said.

British Columbia follows in the footsteps of Ontario and Toronto, who have declared the holiday rabbit an essential worker. The order in Ontario, however, prohibits the bunny from delivering treats in parks, playgrounds and other outdoor recreational areas.

In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared both the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy essential workers.