N.L. says rotational worker strategy works, won’t be relaxing rules further

People leave the terminal after arriving at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Monday, March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A new report indicates loosened restrictions for Newfoundland and Labrador rotational workers haven’t led to community transmission of COVID-19.

Health Minister John Haggie and chief medical officer of health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said today that in light of the government report’s findings, the rules will remain but will not be further eased.

In September, the province permitted rotational workers, who regularly travel to another part of the country for work, to self-isolate for seven days rather than 14 when they return home — as long as they test negative for COVID-19 after five days.

Click to play video: 'N.S. rotational workers frustrated with mandatory isolation rule' N.S. rotational workers frustrated with mandatory isolation rule
N.S. rotational workers frustrated with mandatory isolation rule – Sep 10, 2020

Fitzgerald and Haggie say the new rules have successfully allowed the province to contain COVID-19 cases among rotational workers.

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Haggie says the rules cannot be further relaxed because of the high infection rates in other parts of Canada such as Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba.

He says, however, he appreciates that the province’s rules are negatively impacting workers’ mental health by keeping them away from their families.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 2, 2020.

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