Nova Scotia

Checkpoints go up at N.S. border to prevent spread of COVID-19

Provincial staff are stopping and questioning anyone trying to enter Nova Scotia, telling them to self-isolate for 14 days, with only a few exceptions.

Travellers coming into the province told they must self-isolate, with a few exceptions

Vehicles are being stopped at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border and people are being notified of self-isolation orders that now apply to most of those entering Nova Scotia. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

Checkpoints have sprung up at every major entry point into Nova Scotia, as provincial staff stop and question anyone entering the province as part of the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Highways, airports and ferry terminals are being monitored, with staff telling travellers to self-isolate for 14 days, no matter where they're coming from. Those who fail to obey the isolation order could be fined $1,000 per day.

The province announced the new measures on Sunday after declaring a state of emergency in response to the pandemic. Some travellers are exempt from the self-isolation rules, including truckers, medical staff and other essential personnel.

Provincial staff, including public health officials , have been stationed at the ferry terminals in North Sydney and Digby, along with the airports in Halifax and Sydney. A checkpoint has also been set up on Highway 104 at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border. 

Workers began stopping almost all vehicles on the highway starting Monday at 6 a.m.

"For those who are not essential service and want to enter our province for social purposes, please stay home," Premier Stephen McNeil said Sunday. 

Nova Scotia has tightened its border in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

For the most part, people on Highway 104 spoke to provincial staff, took an information pamphlet on self-isolation and went on their way. But some did opt to turn around and drive back to New Brunswick.

It did not appear that checkpoint workers recorded any names or licence plates of the people they spoke with.

P.E.I. has taken similar measures at its borders, telling everyone coming to the Island to self-isolate for 14 days. Provincial staff also ask a series of health questions at the checkpoints. If people exhibit symptoms, their contact information is taken and they're directed to next steps for testing.

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with files from Brett Ruskin and Brooklyn Currie