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Quebec to lift travel ban between Ottawa and Gatineau on Monday

Bridges between Ottawa and Gatineau, Que. will be free for travel as of Monday following many weeks of closure to non-essential travel.
Bridges between Ottawa and Gatineau, Que. will be free for travel as of Monday following many weeks of closure to non-essential travel. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Ottawa residents will soon be able to cross freely into Gatineau, Que., but not quite in time for cottagers and hikers keen to get into Quebec over the Victoria Day long weekend.

The Quebec Government announced Friday afternoon it would lift the restrictions on interprovincial travel between Ottawa and Gatineau as of Monday, May 18.

Increased police patrols and enforcement of emergency orders on long weekend
Increased police patrols and enforcement of emergency orders on long weekend

The non-essential travel ban, which saw police screen Ottawa drivers at a series of interprovincial bridges in the National Capital Region, has been in place since April 1 over concerns of spreading the novel coronavirus across provincial borders.

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READ MORE: Here’s what needs to be in place before Ottawa can relax coronavirus restrictions

Mayor Jim Watson, who has been critical of the travel bans in the past, tweeted Friday that he was glad the bans were coming down but wished the decision could have come into effect at the start of the long weekend rather than the end.

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News the travel ban would soon be lifted came the same day Gatineau transit officials laid out a plan to connect the city’s commuters to Ottawa’s downtown area via a proposed tram system.