Canada

Provincial COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in the east and north

While provincial governments move to reopen economies and relax some restrictions imposed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and mandatory self-isolation policies remain in place in the eastern provinces and northern territories.

Borders in Atlantic provinces are still closed to rest of Canada as other regions loosen travel rules

Officials stop a vehicle at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border to notify of self-isolation orders that apply under Nova Scotia's state of emergency. The Atlantic provinces may soon form a travel bubble that would allow travel among the provinces with no need to self-isolate. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

While provincial governments move to reopen economies and relax some restrictions imposed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and mandatory self-isolation policies remain in place in the eastern provinces and northern territories.

Here's what you need to know about the travel policies in each province and territory.

B.C.

While the province hasn't implemented border checkpoints, the government is still asking residents to avoid non-essential travel over the B.C.-Alberta border.

The B.C. government website does note, however, that Highway 77 is closed in both directions at Petitot River Bridge (4 km south of the border between British Columbia and the Northwest Territories). The road is closed to non-essential travel.

For travellers heading into Yukon via Highway 97 or Highway 37, crossings are limited to essential travel only. 

Non-essential travel is prohibited into Haida Gwaii, a collection of 150 islands about 90 kilometres west of British Columbia's north coast.

Alberta 

Alberta has no border checkpoints or travel restrictions, but non-essential travel outside the province is not recommended.

However, the Northwest Territories government has tweaked its checkpoint program at the N.W.T.-Alberta border allowing Albertans to obtain access passes to the Fort Smith, N.W.T. area. 

Plaques on wall in Lloydminster designating the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan, including provincial emblems. (Trevor Bothorel/CBC)

Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan government had imposed travel restrictions on northern Saskatchewan but the government has since lifted those restrictions.

Residents are advised to limit any non-essential travel outside of Saskatchewan, with the exception of people who live in border communities and are commuting for work.

It is not mandatory that Sask residents self-isolate for 14 days upon their return from an out of province trip.

Manitoba

The province hadn't closed its interprovincial borders, but it had established information checkpoints at provincial border crossings — four entering from Saskatchewan and one from Ontario —  to inform travellers of the risk of COVID-19.

Watch: Families worry about Manitoba's restrictions for travellers

As Manitoba enters Phase 3 of its reopening plan, the province will drop its mandatory two-week self-isolation period for some visitors. Much of northern Ontario is still subject to self-isolation rules. 2:07

However, it has since begun easing up on those checkpoints.

The province is also dropping its mandatory two-week self-isolation period for some visitors.

Travellers coming from Western Canada, the territories, or part of northwestern Ontario (west of Terrace Bay) can enter Manitoba without self-isolating, as long as they don't have symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19.

Ontario

There are no travel restrictions in Ontario.

Quebec

The province had set up roadblocks in some areas to contain the spread of COVID-19 but those have since been removed.

Members of Quebec's provincial police force talk to the driver of a recreational vehicle near the border of the United States in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, south of Montreal on March 28, 2020. The Canada-U.S. border remains closed to non-essential vehicle traffic. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

At present, access is allowed to all regions of the province, with the exception of the following territories:

  • The Cree Territory of James Bay.
  • Nunavik.

The government, still, is requesting that travel be limited from one region to another or from one city to another.

New Brunswick

N.B. Premier Blaine Higgs said he is expecting a travel bubble to open between New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador in early July. Such a bubble would allow for travel among the provinces without the need to self-isolate for 14 days.

N.B. could open to visitors from the rest of Canada by mid-July, as long as officials can continue to manage the spread of COVID-19, he said.

As of Friday, Canadian residents who own property in New Brunswick can enter the province, as long as they self-isolate for 14 days. The same rules apply for Canadian residents visiting family members in the province. 

Anyone authorized to enter at any point of entry must stop and and answer questions by a peace officer. 

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs expects to see a travel bubble between Atlantic provinces by early July. (Government of New Brunswick/Submitted)

New Brunswick residents returning to the province after working in other parts of Canada do not need to self-isolate but they must monitor themselves for possible symptoms. 

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is also hoping for the Atlantic bubble to open in early July. And the province could be opened to the rest of the country by mid- to late-July.

In the meantime, the province has implemented checkpoints at every major entry point into the province and anyone entering is stopped and questioned. 

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.

Some travellers are exempt from the self-isolation rules, including truckers, medical staff and other essential personnel.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball said he is open to allow the free flow of people between the Atlantic provinces, and officials are working out the details of a regional bubble. 

Until then, non-residents are banned from coming into the province, unless they have an exemption. Anyone entering the province is required to isolate for 14 days.

P.E.I.

P.E.I Premier Dennis King said he believes it's still too early to give a specific date when the Atlantic travel bubble will come into effect. However, he said his focus is on that plan, rather than when his province can open to the rest of Canada.

Meanwhile, P.E.I. remains closed to non-residents, allowing only health-care providers and essential workers, such as truck drivers delivering goods, to cross the Confederation Bridge.

Any residents who have travelled within Canada or internationally are ordered to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning. 

The Confederation Bridge into P.E.I. is closed to all but essential traffic. (Rick Gibbs/CBC)

Yukon, Nunavut, Northwest Territories

All three territories have had active public health orders prohibiting non-essential travel from the rest of Canada.

In Yukon, non-residents are allowed to travel through the territory on their way to other destinations. And on July 1,  Yukon will be opening its border with B.C.

However, the territory, because it's opening its border with B.C., will not be part of a northern travel bubble with the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. 

Residents of Nunavut and N.W.T. can now travel freely between the territories without having to self-isolate when they return.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this article noted that all unnecessary travel into New Brunswick is still prohibited. In fact, as of June 19, Canadian residents who own property in New Brunswick can enter the province, as long as they self-isolate for 14 days. The same rules apply for Canadian residents visiting family members in the province.  In B.C., non-essential travel is prohibited into Haida Gwaii, a collection of 150 islands about 90 kilometres west of the province's north coast. This information has been added to the article.
    Jun 21, 2020 10:23 AM ET

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