Manitoba border with Ontario set to reopen Wednesday

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Ontario border reopening
Ontario is set to reopen its border with Manitoba this week, but it doesn't mean everyone can cross without needing to quarantine when coming back. Brittany Greenslade reports. – Jun 14, 2021

The Manitoba/Ontario border is set to reopen after COVID-19 restrictions have left it closed to most travellers for months.

Ontario’s solicitor general, Sylvia Jones, said in a statement that the current orders will end just after midnight Wednesday.

“Following the province’s successful transition to Step One of Roadmap to Reopen, and with the approval of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, O.Reg 293/21 Persons Entering Ontario from Manitoba or Quebec has not been extended past its current expiry date,” Jones said.

Click to play video: 'Ontario police set up checkpoints along borders, begin turning away non-essential travelers'
Ontario police set up checkpoints along borders, begin turning away non-essential travelers

“The order will expire at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at which time individuals will be able to enter Ontario via its interprovincial land and water borders.

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“Those entering Ontario must continue to follow the public health measures in place in the province.”

Ontario’s border to the west with Manitoba and to the east with Quebec had been closed for non-essential travel since April.

The Quebec-Ontario border is also fully reopening to all forms of travel starting Wednesday as COVID-19 restrictions are loosened.

Read more: Ontario campgrounds that rely on Manitoban business face uncertain summer

“This reopening applies to anyone wishing to travel between the two provinces, without exception,” Quebec’s Public Security Ministry said in a statement issued Monday.

If Manitobans are going to their own property they are exempt from the 14-day isolation requirement when coming back to Manitoba.

“If you own property and and we don’t specify a specific geographic distance, but if you you can visit your property and return without having to isolate,” provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said.

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But Roussin said the previous buffer zone which allowed Manitobans to go anywhere west of Traverse Bay without isolating when coming back to the province is no longer in effect.

“The only change right now to our travel isolation rules was the one we’ve already implemented,” he said. So if you’re fully vaccinated in two weeks, you will not need to isolate upon your return. The other restrictions that are related to neighbouring communities and people travelling to their own property.”

Which means those who choose to cross the border to visit in Ontario that do not own property or are not fully vaccinated must still isolate.

“As more and more weeks go by, we think it should become less and less an issue because we want more and more people with that double vaccine and gives them an exemption no matter what,” Roussin said.

Ontario eased some restrictions last Friday when it began its reopening plan.

People there are now allowed to gather outdoors with up to 10 people and dine on patios with up to four people per table.

However, indoor gatherings are still banned which means you would not be allowed to have guests inside your cottage or stay overnight.

The federal government said last week it is looking to ease quarantine travel requirements for fully vaccinated Canadians by early July.

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Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister recently announced that fully vaccinated people can travel in and out of the province without having to quarantine.

-With files from Kalina Laframboise


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